The government has entered into a $147,700 agreement with the Wellness Center Behavioural Health Clinic Ltd (WCBHC) to assist special needs students.
In its September 29 Cabinet meeting, the government decided to waive the tender process and retroactively hire WCBHC from January 1, 2021 until August 31, 2022.
According to Cabinet’s post-meeting statement, the territory lacks technical expertise for special needs children. Therefore, it has had issues handling the complexity and volume of issues that impact these students.
However, with WCBHC on board, the government can move ahead with plans to create a Special Education Unit within the Ministry of Education.
This unit will be adequately staffed and equipped with the knowledge and resources to handle problems relating to special needs students in the Virgin Islands.
The Eslyn Henley Richiez Learning Centre is an institution that caters for special needs students and is poised to benefit from the government decision.
The agreement with WCBHC is just one of the latest decisions the government has made to better assist special needs students in the territory.
In February of this year, the learning centre received a school bus to help with students’ transportation. At that handing over ceremony, Education Minister Dr Natalio Wheatley said plans for a new school was being finalised. The first school building was destroyed during Hurricane Irma back in 2017.
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