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Believing in the importance of Special Needs Students Integration Tharawat Sponsors GCC Workshop for the Blind

As part of its efforts to carry out its corporate social responsibility and believing in the valuable contribution of privately owned firms in supporting local, Gulf and humanitarian causes, Tharawat Investment House (Tharawat), the latest Islamic investment house to operate in Bahrain, announced its sponsorship of a workshop on entitled “Educational Integration of Special Needs Children” in co-operation with the Saudi Bahraini Institute for the Blind (SBIB).

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The workshop, to be held on Sunday 19th April 2009 under the patronage of Dr. Khalid bin Ismail Al Alawi, Assistant Undersecretary for Educational Services and Student Activities at the Ministry of Education and Mr. Mohamed bin Husain Al Jowdar, Chairman of the Saudi Bahraini Institute for the Blind, will involve the participation of the Bahrain Education Ministry specialists, parents of students in Bahrain and the GCC states and will be attended by professionals in the area of educational integration from Lebanon, Syria and the GCC states.

In a statement, Mr. Arif Mohammed Al Alawi, Tharawat Chief Executive Officer said: “Integration of special needs children with their counterparts in the public schools is a significant issue that is more than just a classroom issue. It is actually a question of full sharing of the responsibility and success. We in Tharawat believe in the importance of complete participation in success as much as we believe in sharing our life and investment. The theme that we adopt in Tharawat, Thriving Together, is based upon the principle of our joint success whether with investors, staff members and the general public who obviously include special needs children.”

“This is why we have sponsored this workshop to enhance the right of special needs children to proper education on an equal footing as their normal counterparts and hence motivate them to integrate in the public schools and also to benefit from the experience of neighboring and developed countries in the area of school integration.” Mr. Al Alawi concluded.

Meanwhile, Mr. Abdul Wahid Mohammed Al Khayat, SBIB Director expressed his thanks and appreciations to Tharawat for its sponsorship of this seminar. He underlined the major role played by Tharawat since its launch towards the sponsorship of Islamic banking conferences as well as national events.

Speaking about the workshop, he said: “SBIB is keen to hold in every year a number of events, seminars and workshops that contribute to the enhancement of awareness among the employees of the Education Ministry schools and parents in Bahrain and other GCC states.”

“This workshop aims at guiding the parents of Blind students to use the proper educational methods that enable their children to adapt with their normal counterparts in public schools. The event also aims at encouraging the administrative and faculty in government and private schools to accept the integration of children with disabilities in their schools and co-operating with the authorities to meet their special needs. In this manner, the highest level of required efficiency will be achieved.” Mr. Alkhayat added.

On the question of integration and services offered by the Institute to its students who benefit from such integration, Al Khayat said “We currently have a total of 20 students, of both sexes, who benefit from the process of integration which is in the form of classrooms in public and private schools which are joined by blind students initially while giving them the opportunity to interact with their ordinary peers throughout the school day and under the supervision of the Institute’s teachers. The process is closely monitored through regular daily visits by such teachers.”

He continued: “The Institute also provides all the requirements of such students such as special typewriters for the blind, laptops with special talking programs and Braille printed books and publications. Monthly and end of year examination papers are usually produced using the Braille system.”

Concluding, Mr. Abdul Wahid Mohamed Al Khayat, SBIB Director said: “Once again I would like to express our sincere thanks to Tharawat led by Mr. Arif Mohamed Al Alawi, Chief Executive Officer for his initiative to sponsor this workshop which is hoped will achieve all its educational and humanitarian objectives.”

At an authorized capital of US$100 million and paid up capital of US$33.25 million, Tharawat was launched on 31st July 2008 in the Kingdom of Bahrain under a license as an Islamic investment company. Tharawat operates under the rules and regulations of the Central Bank of Bahrain.

Tharawat seeks to launch a wide range of investment products designed mainly for GCC, other Arab and Islamic markets.

Tharawat targets industrial, agricultural and service sector, with less focus on the property sector.

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