1. Description of Our Community
Bandar Sunway, which is in the state of Selangor is a township in between Petaling Jaya and Subang Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia. Bandar Sunway has also become known as a higher education hub, with two large universities in the area, namely Monash University and Sunway University, as well as other private colleges such as Sunway College and The One Academy. There are other notable schools in Bandar Sunway which are SK Bandar Sunway, SMK Bandar Sunway and Sunway International School.
Who are Special Needs Children? Children with special needs can be classified in many ways. Some have to do with mild learning disabilities while some might have a profound cognitive impairment. These children can also be encountering developmental delays that catch up quickly while some their development may remain entrenched.
In Malaysia, SMK Bandar Sunway is one of the first few schools in Selangor to be selected for Special Needs Programme. Beginning the year 1998, only 11 students were taken in by the school. However, the number has increased by 36 people at the year of 2014. This programme is handled by Pn. Juairiah bt. Hj. Johari, who is trained in special education at Postgraduate level and assisted by nine degree holder teachers. The Special Education class in SMK Bandar Sunway is indeed very lucky as it is administered by Pn Hpsah bt Safian, who is the headmistress of SMK Bandar Sunway.
2. Summary of Our Project
The inclusion of special needs to community has been one of the biggest debates in education courses for some time now. However, it is proven in SMK Bandar Sunway that Special Needs students are able to assimilate well in the community. In this school, we are given training through various activities to enable us to be prepared for future. These activities are usually done during school and after school. Skills such as reading, writing, listening and mathematical skills are usually enforced during the school activities.The objectives are to enable us, Special Need Children to understand the writing symbols for further communication. Writing skills comprises on listing out shopping list, filling in forms and understanding recipes. We also learn how to use money and learn to measure items in our daily use. We are also trained to provide our basic information such as our name, address, telephone number, date of birth if any emergency occurs.
Apart from functional skills, we are also taught to do gardening. We learn about soil and techniques of planting. We wait almost daily to see a tree bearing fruits. The best part is definitely when it is the right time to pluck the fruits To enhance our cognitive skills, we are also given the opportunity to be creative by attending Animation programme. This programme is guided by Young Animators Sdn Bhd. We learn to animate objects and learn on story boarding. In November 2013, we came up with our first animated movie ”Treat Us Equally too” done by seven students aged 16 to 18 years old. We also participate in healthy activities eg. sports and recreational programmes like Outbound activities. These programmes enable us to appreciate Mother Nature.
3. Our Computer and Internet Access
A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:less than 20
B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom:more than 6
C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dedicated connection
D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:2-3
4. Problems We Had To Overcome
One of the problems we faced was lack of interview skills. There were very few people in our team who had experience in conducting interviews. However, we are lucky to receive guidance from our parents and teachers who had been very patient and helpful to us. Another problem that we encountered was in creating the Webpage. Since, all of us are novices in creating the webpages; we were pretty much frustrated with the process. The only way we could overcome this problem was through trial and error, which we believe was an excellent way for us to learn the techniques of creating a webpage. Besides the problems stated above, another challenge that we had to overcome was the complexity of the project, itself. As we are well aware, in order to create a successful project, many interviews, recordings, photographing and editing the webpage need to be done. For us to complete this all was a difficult job for us. However, in the process of doing this project, we learned the importance of planning as well as writing the ideas that we have come up as to ensure that we would not forget at the next meeting. Even though, it was a challenging task for us, we are proud to say we were able to pull it through.
5. Our Project Sound Bite
When the project was coming to an end, we definitely felt much stronger as individuals with Special Needs. Before this, the community assumed that we were incapable of many things, however, through this project, we have definitely proven them wrong. We believe that we are at par with the mainstream students or even better. Moreover, through this contest, we have also gained a lot of knowledge, for instance, in terms of doing interviews, creating creative animations and creating webpages. We are really grateful with the opportunity that has been given to us.
6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?
Our project is related to our national curriculum that emphasizes on creating holistic individuals and not just bookworms. It teaches us that as future generations, we not only have to gain knowledge from school but also to explore the outer whole. For instance, through this project, we have been given the chance to learn about how to create animations, develop a website, edit, insert picture and making video. Moreover, through this project, we have been given the chance to improve our language skills by interviewing and communicating with people of the community, as well as our teachers and friends. This is in line with the education standards that believe children of today’s generation should not only be able to write well but also to communicate well. Besides speaking, we have also improved on our ability to do research when we were carrying out the project especially when we were looking for information from various resources like internet, books and watching interviews. Furthermore, through this project, we also achieved one of our curriculum standards that are to create leaders of the country. We have learnt that as a team we need to work together as well as help one another.