KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysians with disabilities should take up scholarships offered by a number of local and international agencies to pursue higher education.
Project officer Ferozan Ahmad of Asean University Network-Disability and Public Policy Network (AUN-DPPnet) said the scholarships were aimed at helping prospective students with disabilities fund their postgraduate education.
“Many students are not aware of these scholarships which give them access to educational resources and enable them to enjoy the full benefits of a tertiary education,” he added.
In Japan, he said, the Nippon Foundation, Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica), and the Japanese government provide scholarships for people with disabilities.
“Similarly scholarships are also offered by the Australian and New Zealand governments,” he said.
Their main objective is to ensure that students with disabilities are able to arm themselves with skill sets that enable them to be independent and adaptable to challenges.
In the case of the AUN-DPPnet scholarships, Ferozan said the main objective was to groom future leaders to stand for the rights of minorities and promote a barrier-free environment, in terms of bureaucracy and physical infrastructure.
Hence, he added, the cream among this group would be empowered with policy making tools.
The criteria to get the AUN-DPPnet scholarship, Ferozan said depended on their first degree results with good English-speaking skills. The scholarships are also offered to outstanding students with strong leadership qualities.
With the Ministry of Education’s Zero Reject Policy, Ferozan said, parents played an important role in preparing children with special needs so that they could excel in education and be gainfully employed.
He said AUN-DPPnet was in the midst of developing a job portal and tourism knowledge exchange portal for its alumni group.
The availability of these scholarships, he said, might also be highlighted at the forthcoming International Special Education Exhibition and Conference (ISEE 2019) to be officiated by Minister of Education Maszlee Malik on Aug 29 at the Matrade Exhibition and Convention Centre.
ISEE 2019 is co-organised by the National Special Education Association (PPKK) and Special Education Association of Kuala Lumpur (PPKKL) in collaboration with Universiti Malaya. GR8 Dreams Sdn Bhd founder and managing director Datin Lorela Chia is the organising committee chairman.
The aim of the inaugural event is to have the enrolment of 100,000 special education students and 20,000 sustainable careers by 2025. The four-day event will see international and local plenary speakers comprising researchers, academicians and scholars talk in inclusive classroom settings, conducting poster presentations and forums for parents, carers and teachers.