Empowering Special Education Students and Practicing Basic Ceramic Craft Design Skills to Help Develop Potential Skills of the Students

Special education in Malaysia is an ongoing effort to produce individuals that are will possess skills, direction, independence, the ability to plan and conduct their lives as individuals and enable them to realize their potential in themselves. The goal is to see them as equal individuals and members of the society in line with the nations’ education philosophy.

School of The Arts, University Sains Malaysia (USM) is an institution of higher learning that has both national and internationally recognized expertise in the field of arts and design. Hence it was a decision to bring our experience and expertise to the community in a bid to help change the learning experiences of students especially for those who are disabled. It is our hope that the skills learned would aid them in to attain knowledge, skills, creativity, culture and even place them on the path of practicing innovation and produce future entrepreneurs.

Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Pendidikan Khas Persekutuan Pulau Pinang was chosen for this study as they are a special needs secondary school that has Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) subjects available such as Design Technology, Integrated Life Skills, Art Studies, and other vocational subjects. The students have been exposed to a foundational understanding of the subjects however, the application of these subjects aren’t as comprehensive and complete as there is a lack of expertise and facilities for the school.

Objectives:

  1. To see students master the foundational skills of crafting design for ceramics through comprehensive and practical ways of teaching and guidance.
  2. To see students practice the skills attained and have the possibility of building a career based on their skills upon graduation.

Current Achievements:

  1. Students successfully held an exhibition of their ceramic work at Galeri Adiwarna, School of The Arts USM entitled “Pameran Asas Rekabentuk Kraf Seramik Pelajar Kelainan Upaya (PKU) from Sept 4, 2019 until September 10, 2019. They were also featured on national television in Selamat Page Malaysia on September 10, 2019. Click here for the video.
  2. The school was chosen to represent the state of Penang for the category of special education schools to compete in Pertandingan Inovasi Kemahiran Pendidikan Khas Malaysia at J. W. Marriot, Putrajaya from Sept 24, 2019 to Sept 27, 2019.