|OUHK Partners with the Heep Hong Society to Nurture Professionals in Early Childhood with Special Educational Needs|
|Thursday, 29 December 2011 14:47|
The Open University of Hong Kong (OUHK) and the Heep Hong Society (HHS) signed an agreement today (8 December) for collaboration on two distance learning top-up programmes on early childhood with a focus on special educational needs.
The Bachelor of Education in Early Childhood Education (Special Educational Needs) and the Higher Diploma in Early Childhood Education (Special Educational Needs) programmes will be launched in April 2012. The two programmes have gone through the OUHK quality assurance mechanism and have been approved by the OUHK Senate. The HHS professionals and OUHK senior academics form course development teams to develop four specialized courses, namely Early Assessment and Intervention, Teaching Pre-School Children at Risk of Dyslexia, Supporting Young Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder, and Language Delay and Training. All courses are presented in Chinese.
The OUHK's President Prof. John C Y Leong and HHS Executive Committee Chairman Dr Henry Au Yeung signed the collaboration agreement at a ceremony held at the OUHK's Ho Man Tin Campus. It was witnessed by the OUHK's Dean of the School of Education and Languages Prof. Yvonne Fung Shi Yuk-hang and HHS Director Ms Nancy Tsang.
In his address, Prof. Leong said, 'In recent years, the society has shown more concern about the professionalism of pre-primary education practitioners in providing services to young children with special educational needs. Through the collaboration project, the OUHK and HHS can capitalize on their respective resources and strengths to enhance the professional standards of child-care workers and teachers working in special child care centres or in inclusive education settings.'
Prof. Leong added that the OUHK is honoured to have partnered with HHS which is known for its earnest endeavours, profound knowledge and solid experience in helping children with special educational needs and their families.
Speaking at the ceremony, Dr Au Yeung said HHS is committed to helping children with different abilities to develop their full potential through various means and thereby contributes to a more inclusive society.
Dr Au Yeung continued that the collaboration with the OUHK, a university experienced in offering programmes on early childhood education, targets to strengthen practitioners' professional knowledge and skills in special education.
'HHS specially offers scholarships and practicum opportunities for in-service child-care workers who enroll in the two programmes, with the aim to encourage them to pursue continuing education and to gain practical experience. Parents who study the related courses at the OUHK can also apply for study awards offered by HHS.' Dr Au Yeung said.
The Bachelor of Education in Early Childhood Education (Special Educational Needs) and the Higher Diploma in Early Childhood Education (Special Educational Needs) programmes are offered to child-care workers and kindergarten teachers who hold a recognized Diploma or Certificate in Early Childhood Education. The programmes emphasize both theory and practice, equipping students to become competent professionals to provide 'educare' to children with special educational needs, and to support the implementation of inclusive education.