Representing Umm al-Qura University (UQU), the College of Education (Department of Specific Education) has observed the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. The celebration, held on Thursday, Rabee' I 9, 1438H, at the college's auditorium in al-Abidiyah Campus, was attended by Dr. Yasser bin Suleiman Shushu, UQU Vice President, and Dr. Ali al-Matrefi, dean of the college, as well as the college's vice deans, and Mr. Saad bin Jameel al-Qurashi, head of Makkah Club for Persons with Disabilities. The celebration was held under the theme: "Achieving Sustainable Development Objectives (17): Towards the Future We Seek."
Prior to the ceremony, the UQU Vice President, accompanied by all other guests, toured through the exhibition organized on this occasion. It included samples of student work, presented in collaboration with Noor Institute for the Blind, in addition to over 100 publications in this area, provided by a national library.
After kicked off with a Quranic recitation, the ceremony started with an address delivered by Dr. Sobhi al-Harethi, head of the Specific Education Department. He lauded the colossal support offered by the Saudi Government to this group. He also highlighted the department's various social, cultural and economic contributions, in addition to its vibrant role in providing the relevant institutions with graduates specialized in this area. Out of 2300 students of both genders enrolled in the department, he said, a voluntary team is formed to support persons with special needs. And in light of the development underway in the college, he added, two of the department's specialized courses have been included in the general education diploma. This comes as part of the college's developmental plan meant to maintain rights of persons with special needs. Concluding his address, Dr. al-Harethi thanked Dr. Bakri bin Maatouq Assas, UQU President, as well as the vice-presidents, for their generous support for the college and its departments.
It followed that a joint cooperation agreement was concluded by the College of Education, as represented by its dean, Dr. Ali bin Muslih al-Matrefi, and Makkah Sporting Club for Persons with Special Needs, represented by its board chairman, Mr. Sad bin Jameel al-Qurashi. The agreement provided for experience exchange between the two parties, organizing joint events, promulgating the department's mission and activities, and developing training plans.
After that, Dr. Yasser bin Suleiman Shushu, the UQU Vice President, delivered an address in which he expressed his pleasure with what he has found. He commended by the efforts exerted by the Department of Specific Education, saying: "For me, this comes as no surprise. You belong to a great college, with long and impressive history. And it is known by its praiseworthy scholars." Dr. Shush cited a number of Quranic verses that underline the importance of paying thorough attention to this group, and meeting their needs.
As the event drew to its close, winners of the contests that had been organized before the ceremony were honored. The event program, it should be noted, included a number of impressive poems written and delivered by a number of participating students.