The Linden Special Needs Centre performed exceedingly well at this year’s Annual Signing Bee Competition. The Centre won first place in both categories of the competition which was held on Wednesday at the National Centre for Educational Resource Development (NCERD).In Category One, Troy Scott from the Linden Special Needs Centre placed first, while Abigail Jairam and Samuel Foo from the New Amsterdam Special School placed second and third respectively.Meanwhile, in Category Two, Ulancy Emanuel from the Linden Special Needs Centre placed first, with Satesh Rajkumar from the New Amsterdam Special School placing second and Tamar Klaus from the Diamond Special Needs School placing third.The other schools which participated in the competition were the David RoseThe winners of the 3rd Annual Signing Bee Competition displaying their winnings in the company of Chief Education Officer Marcel Hutson and other senior education officersSpecial School and Harmony Secondary School.According to National Special Education Needs (SEN) Officer, Savvie Hopkinson, the Signing Bee Competition is an incredible way for students who are deaf to demonstrate their academic progress, justify financial investment in an appropriate education and demand equitable treatment, having in the past suffered benign neglect.She said the competition bears linguistic similarities with “Singing Bees” and “Spelling Bees”. She said the competition intends to stimulate the language faculty of students by expanding their vocabulary and augmenting the stock of words they possess and can employ in their work and lives.“This competition provides a platform for Special Schools to stage their educational quality, expand the capacity of students to perform well in the curriculum while having fun. Through a decentralised approach, it permits students in regions to compete and prove themselves against their counterparts in Georgetown,” Hopkinson is quoted by the Department of Public Information as saying.She added that sign language is crucial to members of the deaf community since it is the means through which their ideas, imagination, creativity and achievements flow out to the rest of the society and among themselves.Moreover, Hopkinson reminded those in attendance that Wednesday’s competition celebrates the education policy of inclusiveness and the education philosophy of the right to an appropriate education. “It demonstrates that all students are valuable and must be empowered to see themselves and take their places in an emerging, expanding, competitive, global community”.Marcel Hutson echoed sentiments shared by Hopkinson and added that the competition demonstrates that there are no boundaries to learning and achievement.He said the Education Ministry is pleased to continue hosting the event by making it a feature as part of Education Month. Hutson explained that over the years, the Education Ministry has sought many ways to provide inclusivity for children with special needs.He said the participation of the children in the competition serves as an indicator of their academic achievement. Hutson enlightened the audience that SEN takes precedence in the Education Ministry’s Strategic Plan. He said that a large part of the Strategic Plan has been dedicated to ensuring that there is movement in the SEN area.