Special Education in Malaysia has been rapidly progressing in the last decade. More efforts have been put into creating awareness on the Special Educational Needs as well as establishment of more facilities. Despite all of these, Shadow Teachers are still not known to the larger society. Common questions asked at the mention of a Shadow Teacher is “who are they and what is it that they do?”. A forum was organized to discuss the roles and responsibilities of a Shadow Teacher, to highlight their importance as well as the challenges faced by them.
The Opening Remark was given by Prof. Dr. Neethiahnanthan Ari Ragavan, Executive Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences and Leisure Management, Taylors University. The session was moderated by Ms. Revati Ramakrishnan, Senior Lecturer, School of Education, Taylor's University.
The forum had four invited speakers who shared their experiences and knowledge, they were:-
Ms. Fiona Ho Jia Ling, Early Interventionist, The Happy Leaves Autism & Special Needs Therapy Centre;
Ms. Nur Diyanah Sulaiman, Head of Learning Support (Primary), Tenby Schools Setia Eco Park;
Ms. Tiffany Loh Wan Ling, EAP Supervisor & Project Manager, Early Autism Project Malaysia;
Ms. Lee Yu Ying, Behaviour Analyst & Co-Founder, Shining Star Learning Hub.
The forum had 80 registered participants ranging from students, teachers, centre owners, therapists as well as parents. The participants were very interactive and posted many questions which were answered by the panel speakers. The discussion touched aspects of qualification of Shadow Teachers, challenges faced, curriculum and strategies of working with children with special needs.