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October 3, 2003

Ministry denies forcing deaf students on vocational schools

From: The Star, Malaysia - Oct 3, 2003

PETALING JAYA: The Education Ministry has denied allegations by the YMCA Self-Reliance Centre for the Deaf that deaf students are being forced to continue their studies in vocational schools.

“The Special Education Department has never forced any deaf student to enter the vocational stream or take any vocational subject.

“Enrolment of deaf students into any vocational course must be done using a specific form and it is entirely up to the students whether they want to do it or not,” the department’s director Mohd Nordin Awang Mat said.

He added that the option was given to students to offer them a wider range of options to choose from once they complete their Form Three education.

In The Star on Monday, the YMCA deaf centre’s executive-in-charge Lucy Lim was quoted as saying that deaf students in the special Form Three classes were often told by their teachers to further their studies in vocational schools as Form Four and Five classes for them would cease.

“Our department has never decided to stop classes for students with special needs. If anything, we are increasing the number of special classes from time to time,” Mohd Nordin said.

An officer from his department added that the ministry would be contacting Lim to discuss her claims.

Last month, Lim highlighted the plight of deaf students, who she said were being denied a credit in SPM language papers as they were unable to take the oral components of the exam.

Education director-general Datuk Abdul Rafie Mahat clarified that the matter was due to confusion over the students’ registration, and that deaf students had always been exempted from the oral components.

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