Revision of special education syllabus on the cards?
PANAJI: The director of education held a meeting last week with representatives of all special schools in Goa and of regular schools that provide resource rooms for special children. Director D P Dwivedi, after the discussions with the school heads and teachers, formed a committee, which has been asked to submit a report within 15 days on the issues faced by schools in imparting special education.
“A 10-member committee of school heads has been formed on July 6 by the director. They will discuss the problems faced by special schools and schools with resource rooms. A meeting of the committee has already taken place on July 9. The deliberations will be compiled into a report based on which the syllabus for special education and the scheme for resource rooms will be revised,” an official source said.
Goa had last revised its syllabus for special children in 2008, officials said. “The teaching methods for special children are fast-evolving. Through programmes like the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan or universalization of education, we are embracing inclusive education also in a big way. We have to keep pace with changes,” the source said. More than half-a-dozen NGOs dealing with children with special needs also contributed their expertise at the July 6 meeting.
Goa has a school enrolment of 53,557 special children, which includes children with disabilities related to learning, hearing, sight, speech, movement and mental health among others.
Goa has over half-a-dozen schools that provide resource rooms where special children study the ‘exact’ syllabus as the rest of the class, only a more simplified version of it with the help of drawings and objects. They, however, join regular classes of students for physical education, arts and crafts, poetry, morning assembly and other school activities.
The idea is to give special children a feel of what it is like to be with a regular class of children. The exercise, at the same time, sensitizes a regular class to the needs of special children. In other cases, resource rooms are used to provide slow learners that extra attention to cope up for an age-appropriate class.
Funds are one issue faced by schools in opening of resource rooms as they require sufficient amount to venture into a long-term commitment like inclusive education for special children.