Pre-schoolers with hearing loss to get support at Mayflower Primary MOE kindergarten from 2022
SINGAPORE: Support for pre-schoolers with hearing loss will be available at the Ministry of Education (MOE) kindergarten at Mayflower Primary School from the 2022 K1 cohort.
This is the first time support for children who need early signing instruction is provided at an MOE kindergarten, the ministry said on Thursday (Nov 12).
"We believe that the earlier the children with hearing loss come into contact with the Singapore Sign Language, the better their foundations," said Minister of State for Education Sun Xueling. "It will help to build their confidence and will also allow them to interact better with their peers."
The MOE kindergarten at Mayflower Primary will have about 120 students each in K1 and K2 when it opens in 2021. It expects to have seven to 10 pre-schoolers who need such support in each batch from 2022.
Mayflower Primary has been the designated primary school for children with hearing loss who need signing instruction since 2018. Nine such students are currently enrolled at the school.
Principal Lim-Chua Siow Ling said it has been "a meaningful and fulfilling journey" to integrate the students into the school.
"It has taught our teachers how to learn to be more intentional about teaching children how to care and share for other people, and our children have been given opportunities to demonstrate empathy towards other people," she said.
"It's not only just the hearing loss students who are benefiting from this model. Our own hearing children are also benefiting from the integration and from this inclusive education."
MOE said it is extending the specialised support to the kindergarten as there is currently no designated pre-school for children with hearing loss.
The signing programme at the kindergarten will support children with moderate-to-profound hearing loss to build basic first language proficiency in the Singapore Sign Language, said the Education Ministry in a press release.
The children will have a signing teacher so they can follow the MOE kindergarten curriculum. Speech and language therapy, as well as audiological services, will also be available.
When Mayflower Primary moves to its new site at the end of 2021, students with hearing loss will be able to take their supplementary academic support classes at a dedicated room. Visual signals such as lights that indicate an emergency or recess time will also be installed across the school, said Ms Lim-Chua.
Information on the admission process for children with hearing loss will be released in February 2021.