Empowering Inborn Greatness
Drawing on its pioneering experience in early childhood and special needs education, Dika College collaborates with its sister company, ISNC Edu Hub Sdn Bhd (ISNC) to provide industry advisory and insight. Pua Chee Ling Chief Executive of Dika College and Head of School of ISNC, shares why having hope is so important in the nurturing of those among us who are special.
Hope Begins Here
All a parent with a child with special needs can do with any kind of certainty each day is to hold on to hope, that their child would grow up to be a purposeful human being, independent, able to fend for himself, be part of a community and find his rightful place in the world.
It is this HOPE that ISNC Edu Hub Sdn Bhd (ISNC) was founded on. Serving as a salve for parents with children with special needs who are often forced to go from one therapist to another to attend to their child’s unique needs, ISNC functions as a one-stop-centre catered to a child’s holistic wellbeing and development.
Not so different
“While we are driven to believe that special needs children are different, in reality, they are just like any other child,” says Pua Chee Ling, Head of School, ISNC. “The truth is every child learns differently. Each has its strengths and weaknesses. Some have more challenges with learning and thus, need more time, one-to-one attention and specialised therapy.”
For a child with special needs, it can take months to a year or even more to learn one thing. But with an abundance of patience and understanding, innovative techniques and perseverance on the part of their teachers and parents, one thing is assured, that is improvements.
One of the practices that stand out at ISNC is that the teachers work closely with the parents throughout the child’s educational journey and are in active communication with them. They also conduct weekly communication with parents to discuss the child’s progress and challenges.
Culture of inclusion
A proponent of inclusion, ISNC celebrates diversity by accepting children with all types of learning difficulties. While it is a norm for a centre to specialise on one type of special needs, ISNC believes that no child should be turned away.
For this reason, ISNC’s in-house team is made up of a diverse set of specialists from behaviour experts, physiotherapists to special needs educators, so they can help children with all types of learning difficulties.
“ISNC is also based on the belief that what makes us different actually helps us teach each other important values like respect, understanding and tolerance. With research showing that children of all types and abilities benefit from being in the same class room, ISNC’s ultimate mission is preparing students to be ready to enter mainstream schools,” said Pua.
School and community ready
“ISNC never wants for a child to stay on with us. If they are well and able to integrate into a mainstream school, we want that for our children. If they can’t, they must be community ready.”
If the child finds it difficult to assimilate into a mainstream school, which sometimes happens because they can’t handle the larger environment or needs more attention, which the teacher is not able to provide, ISNC provides a national school education syllabus that the child can pursue to completion.
“ISNC believes that if it can at least help the children gain some academic qualification, they can still go on and get a diploma or enter into a skill-based programme. Otherwise, with no skills, where do they go?” said Pua.
Into the future
In the long run, ISNC is envisioned as a research centre that will drive research and development in the field of special needs and education. At the same time, it will also serve as a resource hub for parents who need help, advice or a second opinion on their child. By providing affordable and accessible special needs education and care, ISNC aspires to be a beacon of hope for parents with a child who has special needs.