BAMBANG, Nueva Vizcaya—Learners with special educational needs from the central elementary school here were chosen by the Mabuhay Shriners International club to receive free wheelchairs.
The Shriners is a club of masons. Its “new nobles” from the Lumabang Shiners Batch 36 volunteered to undertake the charity work. The club’s advocacy is to help burned and crippled children.
The club was responsible in sending two-year-old Chloe Dumapi to the United States for reconstructive surgery last year. The young girl from Antipolo City was burned and crippled after a lighted candle fell on her bed in January 2015.
The novices of the Sierra Madre chapter of the Shriners from the Salinas Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons here coordinated the humanitarian work with teachers of Bambang Central School and other schools in Nueva Vizcaya.
The recipients of free wheelchairs given on Wednesday were identified as Norilene Obal, 6 years old; Cassandra Manayan, 6; Queenie Rose Bimbo, 18; and Nicole Angela Nebrida, 12.
“We have 81 learners in the special education [SPED] program of Bambang Central School, plus five learners in the distance education program, and nine special learners currently integrated in the mainstream classes after showing good signs of behavioral modification and learning ability,” said Violeta Pumaras, a SPED teacher for 10 years.
Pumaras has two colleagues taking care of the learners, Yvette Quirante and Ric Vadil.
Asked how he deals with the seemingly impossible task of teaching special learners, Vadil said: “These young angels need care and love. We teach by appealing to their affective domain to compensate what they lack in cognitive and psychomotor domains.”
“We also have five cases of verified autism, and there are three more suspected cases here, but we don’t have the means to pay an expert to undertake the diagnosis,” said Pumaras.
She revealed that the Department of Education had allocated P400,000 for such a diagnosis two years ago, but no new allocation has been given.
“The SPED building was funded by the one-percent Special Education Fund coming from the local government’s real property tax collection,” added Pumaras.
Asked what happens if parents fail to provide for special needs such as diapers, the teachers confessed they have to take it from their own pockets. “It’s a passion to teach in a SPED Class,” Vadil said.
The Shriners were joined by ladies of the Order of the Amaranth from the Salinas Court here.
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