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Lessons for sick children

Nanise Loanakadavu
Monday, January 27, 2014

CHILDREN who are admitted at the children's ward at the CWM Hospital for a long period of time should not worry about missing out on their classes as they will be taught right beside their bed.

And about 2000 students have been taught in the Keara Cahill Education Centre since 2012 with five students passing the national exams called Literacy and Numeracy Assessment while admitted.

Hospital medical superintendent Dr Jemesa Tudravu says the centre is run by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education.

"The ministry provides this room which is close as possible to the children's ward while the Ministry of Education provides the teacher and some other materials," Dr Tudravu said.

"It's a very successful initiative.

"Children are very familiar with the learning environment and are quite at home in it.

"It helps to take that mind away from the difficulties they go through in the hospital and help them focus on other things, thereby helping in their healing process."'

Dr Tudravu said most of the children that they were targeting were the ones who were admitted with fractures, and those who would spend six weeks or more in the hospital.

But nevertheless, he said the centre was available to all the children.

School teacher Norma Liga said keeping hospitalised children interested in learning was a challenge for hospitals and schools alike.

"I can have only four to five students in the classroom in one day and the rest will be taught right beside their beds," Ms Liga said.

"So I really have to engage them, the principles of learning and teaching become so important, in particular knowing my students and how they learn."

"These kids have caring adults reaching out to them all day — so you have to be pretty impressive to break through!"

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