Minister of Education, Ronald??Jones (first right), assisting Senator Kerryann Ifill to unveil the plaque to re-open the Ann Hill School today. Also pictured at right are Acting Permanent Secretary, Guildford Alleyne; and Acting Chief Education Officer, Laurie King. At left is Principal of the Ann Hill School, Daphlyn Browne and some of the students of the school. (Image: A. Miller/BGIS)

Barbadians can be on the lookout for an articulated policy on special education in the near future.

This commitment was given by Minister of Education and Human Resource Development, Ronald Jones, today while speaking at the official opening ceremony of the recently refurbished Ann Hill School in The Pine, St. Michael.

"I am cognisant of the absence of an articulated policy on special education for Barbados, but I assure you here today that this is a priority for my Ministry which will be guided by the recommendations arising out of the NACE Report," he stated.

Noting that this year will mark 28 years that the school has been in existence, Mr. Jones pointed out that the new amenities were desperately needed as the previous conditions of the school were less than accommodating for persons with special needs. He added that the new structure will afford pupils the opportunity to learn the skills to enable them to live as independently as possible after leaving the institution.

"The new facilities include a living skills apartment, a laundry room, a Home Economics room – all of which form part of the Home Management programme, a computer room, individual skills workrooms, and a Guidance and Counselling room with a Time Out Room," Minister Jones said.

The Education Minister also implored parents of children at the school to be involved in their education at every level, explaining that they were an invaluable resource.?? "Research shows that when parents are involved students have higher test scores, better school attendance, increased motivation, better self-esteem, decreased use of drugs and alcohol and fewer instances of violent behavior," he advised.

Eighty-one pupils are currently enrolled in the school which has been remodeled to the tune of some four million dollars.

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