Gonzague Pierre Louis Special Learning Centre,
Information – January, 2014.
This year, the GPL Special Learning Centre proudly celebrates 20 years of existence in the field of education adapted to the specific special needs of our pupils. During the year, there will be a number of events to mark the occasion including an Open Day on 23rd April, – 20 years to the day since the official opening in 1994, – to which will be invited all the VIP’s of the island as well as all our benefactors and well-wishers, our parents and our former pupils. This will be followed by a Mass of Thanksgiving on Saturday 26th April in the parish church of Port Mathurin. Of course the invitation is extended to all those who may be on the island at that time and wish to join us.
We have also decided to take advantage of a public holiday and long weekend this month (February) to take the older pupils camping at St. Francois for three days. (More about that when we come back.) We will then take the little ones for a day out to the beach, and hopefully we will be able to take everyone to visit the Tortoise Park at the end of the first term.
Meanwhile we will continue to offer the best service we can to the children in our care, who are deaf, visually impaired, epileptic, have speech and language problems, or general learning difficulties.
In January, we welcomed back 35 of our pupils, as well as 4 new admissions, 3 into the pre-primary and one transferred from Primary school. (See ‘New Pupils 2014)
A few months ago, Rajesh, one of our pupils who was already visually and hearing impaired, became totally blind. The ‘Lois Lagesse Centre for the Blind’ in Mauritius, as well as Mr. Reynolds Permal of ‘Les Yeux dans la Main’, have willingly offered training and equipment in order to help Rajesh, who is 10 years old, continue his education through Braille. Two of our teachers have followed short courses in Braille to help us introduce Rajesh to this method of reading and writing. Moreover, our namesake, Mr. Gonzague Pierre Louis, himself blind, has offered his support and experience to teach Rajesh Mobility, an important step towards his independence as he grows older.
Already, at the beginning of the year, the public in Rodrigues has shown interest in Braille and we may be surprised by how many people would like to learn!
At the end of last year, after several years of fund-raising, a group of our pupils, with their teachers and parents, went on an educational tour to Mauritius for ten days. We stayed in a Government Youth Centre at Flic en Flac and visited Casela, Crocodile Park, Adventure du Sucre, Pere Laval, as well as shopping outings, and a meal at KFC!! We were there for the Hindu festival of Duvali when many houses are beautifully decorated with lights, and the people offered us cakes and invited us into their homes. It was a wonderful experience, especially for those parents who had never visited Mauritius before, and already plans are underway to organise another trip soon.
Mrs. Susan Auguste,