For the first time in his life, a 16-year-old boy with special needs went to school this morning.
The boy, who was rescued from a life of squalor and abuse in late January, attended classes at the National Centre for People with Disabilities (NCPD) in San Fernando.
Before he was rescued, he had been living with a close female relative who beat him constantly and made him sleep among ducks for several months before his plight was highlighted by a neighbour. The Children's Authority stepped in and removed him.
Although he will only go to school for two days a week, for now, his caretaker and aunt told the Newsday she was moved to tears seeing the teen in a school uniform.
“Honestly, I was so excited I made him put on the entire uniform last Friday, I cried when I dropped him to school because I was so happy to see him finally getting a chance at an education,” she said.
He will be taught from preschool level, as he has not had exposure to academics before.
“I tried teaching him the alphabet and to count, but they said they will be starting him from the basics and they will see how much he can absorb.”
She said her nephew was very excited at the prospect of school but did not really understand its importance until she explained it to him.
“He got really excited, because he was thinking about playing with around children and having fun, and he was not interested in doing any school work last week. But I sat him down and explained to him what school is, and I think he became a little more comfortable.”