New course carves pathway for people with disabilities

A new programme from the Australian Pacific Training Coalition (A.P.T.C). will give fifteen people with a disability access to greater educational opportunities. 

The Foundation Skills Knowledge Course is a certificate course developed in conjunction with Nuanua O le Alofa (N.O.L.A), in provding people with a disability access to educational opportunities. 

Speaking to the Samoa Observer, the Programme Officer for N.O.L.A, Andrew Taofim, said the chance for people with disabilities to access the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (T.V.E.T) at the National University of Samoa (N.U.S) was a rare and valuable opportunity.

"It will hugely impact people with disabilities in improving their education especially for their educational pathways," he said. 

“Specifically this is an opportunity for people with disabilities educationally, to expand the opportunities for them in job opportunities as when they have this chance, they can be able to help in their families, communities and their churches.

“It’s an opportunity for them to fit in a work force to improve their skills in speaking, listening skills, writing skills.”

The groups expect the programme to be up and running and having produced graduates by 2020. 

Statistics show education rates among people with disabilities remain stubbornly low, Mr. Taofim said. 

“So that’s our job as an advocacy, is trying to advocate for those in terms of education so that we can promote people with disabilities in both education and work opportunities," he said. 

“Thank the A.P.T.C. for striving to help people with disabilities so that education can be inclusive in Samoa.”

The Foundation course is one of several recognised by the A.P.T.C. and is recognised in Samoa but also other countries and has the same status as other other A.P.T.C. certificates. 

The course contains 11 units and it’s a certificate designed to help adult learners prepare for adult training. Another aim is to familiarise the person with disability in a workplace.

Currently, the process is in filling forms and registrations and the first lot of 15 students has already been confirmed for the course after their registration on Friday last week.

“Once you pass the test, then you’re next to the interview and other categories of the course so to make it short, NOLA in partnership with APTC,” Mr. Taofi said.

“So we’re thinking that hopefully within this month, we’ll call another exam and another registration filling for other members to take this course next year.”

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