Developing Skills for Brighter Prospects
The Employment Transition Programme, part of the Special Education Needs (SEN) initiative, has experienced some success in the short time it has been operating. Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (SMK) Jalan Reko, one of the schools taking part in the programme, has had a SEN class running since 1995, and in terms of physical accessibility, has installed ramps and ensured that SEN classrooms are on the ground floor. SEN students here include those with both physical as well as learning disabilities, and the school assesses their specific requirements before putting them in the appropriate levels.
The school’s principal, Wan Roslan Wan Yaakob, believes that SEN students should be capable of becoming selfsufficient and living independently of their parents. In order to provide these students with the opportunities to do so, SMK Jalan Reko works with the Kagumas Culinary Arts College, Tesco Kajang and various restaurants in Bangi to provide skills and on-thejob training. Once they have turned 16 or older, the school also discusses the students’ prospects with their parents, who may be able to connect the school with other business owners.
One of the beneficiaries of this programme is Ahmad Hudzeir Mohamadiah. An alumnus of SMK Jalan Reko, Ahmad is a barista who also prepares food at Aneka Selera Restaurant at Bandar Baru Bangi. The school had arranged for him to undergo training at Kagumas Culinary Arts College in culinary and hospitality skills.
His employer, restaurant owner Zul Azwan, commends Ahmad as one of his top employees, despite his shyness and lack of social and communication skills. He makes up for it with his skillfulness in food presentation. Zul has been hiring workers with disabilities for 11 years, and believes that with prior training before entering the workforce, and a great deal of patience when teaching them the ropes, they can become dedicated, reliable and competent employees.
Source: National Transformation Programme Annual Report 2015