SEAQiM, Conducting Its First Special Educational Needs Symposium

Yogyakarta – SEAQiM, in collaboration with SEAMEO Secretariat (SEAMES), Thailand and SEAMEO Regional Centre for Special Educational Needs (SEAMEO SEN), Malaysia have successfully conducted its 1st International Symposium on Mathematics for Special Education with the theme “Redefining the Needs of Redefining the Needs of Special Education Students for Mathematics in Southeast Asia”. SEAQiM conducts the event in online and offline mode from 14 – 16 October 2021. More than 400 audiences from Southeast Asia and beyond participated virtually via Zoom and lived at the Melia Purosani Hotel, Yogyakarta.

This event is the first most extensive online and offline mode symposium in Indonesia. A total of nine prominent keynote speakers, five invited speakers, and one facilitator have successfully presented their inspiring and valuable experiences in this three-day event. These extraordinary events were divided into two days of symposium core presentation by keynote and invited speakers and forum group discussion sessions involving online and offline participants. Meanwhile, the last day was a special session for 50 offline participants sponsored by SEAMES to carry out a 4D Frame workshop with Prof. Kristof Fenyvesi from the University of Jyvaskyla, Finland. Deputy Director for Programme and Development of SEAMES, Dr Wahyudi, opened the symposium’s first day. He is also welcoming the prominent keynote and invited speakers.

A lively discussion was presented in keynote address one by Prof Anette Bagger (Orebro University), Prof Gunarhadi (Universitas Sebelas Maret), and Prof Rhonda Faragher (UQ School of Education). Explained about the Mathematics Curriculum for Special Educational Needs, the session successfully attracted the audience’s attention. Dr Rumiati (PPPPTK Matematika, Indonesia) chaired in This session. Continued with keynote address 2, the participants also actively interacted with the speakers through questions dropped in the zoom chatbox. Chaired by Ms Suhaila Binti Mohamad (SEAMEO SEN, Malaysia), Dr Princess Zarla J. Raguindin (Far Eastern University, Philippines), Dr Wiji Suparno, M.Phil. SNE (Dikpora Yogyakarta) and Prof David Evans (The University of Sydney) shared about Learning Mathematics during the session. The first day wrapped with the excellent invited speakers’ presentation about Curriculum and Extra-activities in Making Teaching Aids for Special Needs Students from Dr Baharudin (Curriculum Analyst of the Directorate of Community and Special Education), Cikgu Siti Suhaila Burihan (SMKPK Setapak Malaysia), and Dr Sugiman (State University of Semarang) lead by Dr K. Thiruchelvam Kandaiah (SEAMEO RECSAM) as a chairperson.

Unlike the previous day, the second day of the symposium started with the preliminary FGD, held offline with the 50 participants and divided into three (intellectual disabilities, visual impairments, and hearing impairments). In an FGD Session, SEAQiM presents to online Zoom participants the preliminary session results. The following speakers with Prof Didi Suryadi (University of Education, Indonesia) and Prof Keiko Kumagai (University of Tsukuba, Japan), chaired by Dr Wahyudi (SEAMEO Secretariat). A lively and exciting discussion was also brought to the last keynote presentation from Prof. Mona Holmqvist (Malmö University), Assoc. Prof. Dr Mazlini Adnan (Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris), and Dr Teresita Grafilo Inciong, ED.D., DPM (ECCD Council Early Childhood Care and Development Council) before the event was officially closed by Dr Sumardyono, a  survey and FGD result presentation was presented by Dr Farida Nurhasanah and Mr Wahid Yunianto.

“Special and inclusive teachers needed this symposium and workshop to improve the quality of teaching mathematics for students with disabilities”, said Dr Baharudin, Curriculum Analyst of the Directorate of Community and Special Education (PMPK, Kemdikbud). The final product of this series of activities is to provide a policy brief for the Special Educational Needs, moreover expected to foster the exchange of ideas and strategies regarding what mathematics we should teach to the special needs students. Moreover, in his closing speech, Dr Sumardyono, the Director of SEAQiM, said that this activity was the first step for SEAQIM to solve mathematics problems in Indonesia and the Southeast Asia region.

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