Showing posts with label Special Educators in Government Schools. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Special Educators in Government Schools. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Delhi Govt. focuses on students with disabilites in Govt. Schools- thanks to Working Groups with NGOs.

Dear Colleagues,

Delhi Govt's decision to form working groups in association with NGOs has resulted in some renewed focus on the learning outcomes of students with disabilities studying in various govt and aided schools in Delhi. I call it a step in right direction by the Kejriwal Govt. which has been experimenting several programs to ensure that students with disabilities were truly included in schools. Its Department of Education (DoE) had formed 7 working groups in association with leading NGOs working on inclusive education to address the issue of quality education for all in Govt. Schools. 

This constructive & participatory process assures all of us that things are going in right direction despite initial hiccups and several challenges. The special educators have been asked to prepare IEP (Individualized Education Program) for each child with disability with short term and long term goals to be reviewed periodically. The teachers are also given flexibility to review & modify the module. The support of multi-disciplinary team like therapists, counselors,  educators etc is also being proposed to be made available.

The challenges that still remain is many schools do not have required number of special educators. Class Teachers also need to be trained and involved in the child's learning and the responsibility shouldn't be just shifted to the special educators completely. This would not result in true inclusion.  Parents also have a larger role in child's development & should be involved in supplementing IEP at home. But this is also a challenge as many of them are working and do not have time to support children's education.

However, I am sure the working groups with the support of expert NGOs would take this challenge further and take this program of inclusion to a gradual success. I would be very keenly following this experiment on inclusive & quality education with measurable learning outcomes of children with disabilities (children with special needs)  in Govt. schools. This experiment deserves accolades and is worth emulating in rest of Indian states given its participatory approach with a focus on inclusion!

Here is the Tribune Report on the same.

Special education programme for the disabled in govt schools

Every disabled child studying in Delhi Government run and aided schools will now get personal attention with the AAP government asking special educators to prepare an individualised education programme (IEP).

"Special educators placed in government run and aided schools have been asked to prepare an individualised education programme for every disabled child in their care. The IEP will include instructions on the teaching procedure as well," a senior official of the Directorate of Education (DoE) said.

There are around disabled 20,000 children enrolled in government schools at present.

"We have asked the special education teachers to prepare the IEP of each child with special needs (CWSN) within 15 days, the format of which should cover everything from basic requirements to extra-curricular activities.

"Teachers will have the liberty to modify any particular child's module as per requirements. The educators will not only record the type of special need but also associated conditions, languages spoken and referral to other services -in case the child needs services such as physiotherapy," the official said.

After identifying the problems, the educators will set both short-term and long-term goals for each child.

DoE officials had recently formed seven working groups in association with various NGOs working for children with special needs.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Special Educator must in all Schools affiliated to CBSE

CBSE makes special educators must in all schools
Abhishek Choudhari | Jul 8, 2015, 03.28 AM IST

Nagpur: The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has now made it mandatory for all affiliated schools to appoint a special educator so that children with learning disabilities could be assimilated with other students. Apart from the central board's philosophy of "inclusive practices" in schools, this directive has also been necessitated due to strict guidelines of the Right to Education Act (RTE).

DTS Rao, board's joint secretary, wrote in the letter to schools containing above directions, "Board will appreciate cooperation of the schools in implementation of the above."

Laying down broad guidelines, CBSE said a special educator was specifically required in schools to work with children and young adults who required additional support in order to complete their learning successfully. Rao wrote, "Special educators (SE) will focus on children with physical disabilities, sensory impairments, developmental disabilities such as autism, mental retardation, cerebral palsy and specific learning disabilities as they are emotionally vulnerable and have behavioral difficulties". The scope of work has been widened for SEs as CBSE says they could also work with "gifted and talented children".

But finding qualified SEs is a big challenge for schools. Annapoorni Shastri, senior principal of Bhavan's BP Vidya Mandir (Shrikrishna Nagar), said, "In Nagpur it is difficult to get SEs with proper qualifications. Part of the problem is that in teacher training colleges, special education course is focused on kids with hearing and speaking disability rather than autism etc."

Schools where such children are enrolled said teaching approach has to be tailor-made. Shastri said, "For an autistic child there has to be one-on-one teaching and they cannot be burdened with all subjects at once, hence the open schooling system is for them. For others, CBSE does offer choices of subjects like music, e-typing etc which are relatively easy to handle."

Apart from subject choices, the other aspect that makes inclusive education possible is the students' support system on campus. Sumathi Venugopalan, principal of Centre Point School (Wardhaman Nagar), said, "Every student moves up from our pre-primary section school, Mothers Pet, so they all are anyway close to each other. It is only at a later age that learning disabilities become apparent and we all adapt accordingly. We have a 'buddy system' in which a student volunteers to help another and builds a great ecosystem. Some of our students have cerebral palsy and autism but they are doing well with help of SEs, counselors and their classmates."

Not every school has students with special needs, something that maybe incidental or deliberate. With CBSE making it mandatory for every school to have a SE, one might expect to more such admissions taking place.

Special children, no special educators?


* Finding qualified special educators in Nagpur is a challenge

* Schools say 'teacher colleges' focus only on teaching physically challenged kids

* Theory and practical skills required for kids with learning disabilities are lacking in teachers

* Considering that children with special needs form a very small percentage of total strength, dedicating enough manpower is financially tough


Pre School/ nursery play school

* Std X passed and certificate program in early childhood and special education.

* Std XII passed and diploma program in early childhood special Education DECSE-MR DECSE-VI.

* Std XII passed and diploma in teaching children (Deaf and hard of Hearing)

* Std X passed and diploma certificate care giving program.

* Any other equivalent qualification approved by Rehabilitation Council of India.

Elementary (primary and upper primary)

* Std XII passed and two year DEd Special education in any of the category of disability

* Std XII passed and one year diploma in special education (DSE) in any of the category disability

* Diploma in community based rehabilitation (DCRB) with six months certificate course in education of children with special needs.

* Post graduate diploma in community based rehabilitation with six months certificate course in education of children with special needs.

* Diploma in Multi rehabilitation worker with six months certificate course in education of children with special needs

* Junior diploma in teaching the deaf

* Primary level teacher teaching course in visual impairment

* Diploma in vocational rehabilitation mental retardation (DVR-MR)/ diploma in vocational training and employment mental retardation (DVTE-MR) with six months certificate course in education of children with special needs

* Diploma in hearing language and speech with six months certificate course in education of children with special needs

* Std XII passed with RCI recognized qualification for minimum one year duration and six months with special needs.

* Any other equivalent qualification approved by RCI

Secondary and senior Secondary 

* Graduate with B.Ed. (special education).

* BEd general with one year diploma in special education

* BEd general with two-year diploma in special education

* BEd general with post graduate professional diploma in special education

* BEd special education and post graduate professional certificate in special education

* PG diploma in special education (mental retardation)

* PG diploma in special education (multiple disabilities: physical and neurological)

* PG diploma in special education (locornotor impairment and cerebral palsy)

* Secondary level teacher training course in visual impairment

* Senior diploma in teaching the deaf

* BA/BEd in visual impairment

* Any other equivalent qualification approved by RCI

Source: Times of India 

Thursday, October 31, 2013

An inclusive school in Mumbai

All schools can be special

Nergish Sunavala, TNN Oct 20, 2013, 05.35AM IST

While interviewing Usha and Rupesh Bhurke at their Goregaon home, I assumed that their seven-year-old son wasn't paying attention. After all Dev, diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder at age two, was spinning merrily around the room, playing with Lego, and urging his parents to switch on the TV. But the moment Rupesh mentioned the name Advait, Dev froze mid-spin and announced, "Advait was absent on Monday."

Both boys study at Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan Vidyalaya, a mainstream school in Malad, Mumbai, and have known each other since junior kindergarten. Early on Advait, who has no special needs, was asked to monitor Dev's class work - a task he took so seriously that Dev was in danger of becoming helpless without him. Now, Advait waits for a go-ahead from the teacher before swooping in to help.

Besides bonding with Advait - a feat considering Dev's speech was delayed - there has also been a marked improvement in his vocabulary, sitting tolerance and a sharp decline in his hyperactivity. Dev's situation is remarkable but not unique. Parents, teachers and special educators have long realized that children, when sensitized from a young age, accept differently abled classmates - incorporating wheelchairs and even prosthetic limbs into their games. As for academics, tweaking the curriculum slightly - or in severe cases creating an individualized education plan - allows these children to flourish in a regular school.

Analyzing what works has taken on a new urgency in light of the Right to Education (RTE) Act, which makes it mandatory for schools to admit children with disabilities under the 25% quota for "disadvantaged groups". A 2012 amendment expanded the definition of disability to include autism, cerebral palsy, mental retardation and multiple disabilities. Though the RTE Act came into effect in 2010, activist Ashok Agarwal from Delhi describes the implementation as "tardy" and "uneven". He regularly fields calls from frantic parents whose differently-abled children are being denied admission or ousted from government or private schools. (In 2012, the parents of an autistic boy took a Mumbai school to court because they asked that he be shifted to a special school. The case is still on.)

It's easy to understand why many schools - already flailing under the pressure of overcrowded classrooms, rigid curricula and a shortage of staff - are reluctant to take on children with special needs but that only makes the ones that have successfully embraced inclusion all the more remarkable. In Dev's case, for the first six months, he kept wandering around class but his teacher - despite having 40 other students - took it in her stride. "She never shouted at him," says Usha. Similarly, Jaya Palaparti's son Siddhanth, who has Asperger Syndrome, reached class 10 because his teachers at Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan Vidyalaya in Borivali focused on his strengths (reading and mental math) and accommodated his hyper-sensitivity. He was allowed to wear sandals because socks exacerbated his sensory issues, and he wrote in print even after the rest of the class switched to cursive (kids with autism struggle with fine motor skills). Siddhanth scored 79% in his SSC boards with concessions like using a calculator and dropping a third language and is now completing class 12 through open schooling. "Siddhanth's success encouraged the school to admit more kids with autism," says Jaya.

Anecdotal evidence shows that it's not just high-functioning kids who can thrive in a regular school. Harsh Shardul, a nonverbal child in a wheelchair, who has cerebral palsy, attends an inclusive pre-primary school in Aurangabad. His mother's initial fears that he might feel ignored were soon allayed. "Once the other children got used to him, they started inventing games, they could play with Harsh like racing against his wheelchair," said his mother.

Such stories are the norm rather than the exception at Beacon High in Khar. For the last 13 years, the school, which has special educators, counselors, a physiotherapist, speech therapist and a psychiatrist on its rolls, has been admitting children with disabilities. "I'm blessed that I have never had a child feeling rebuffed, humiliated or left out," says principal KS Jamali, who has found that the "buddy system" - similar to the relationship Dev and Advait share -works marvelously even in senior classes.

If mainstreaming is implemented halfheartedly, a child can feel excluded. A mother of two autistic girls was forced to withdraw her elder daughter from a Mumbai school ten years ago. "She would laugh and talk to herself in class so the teacher wasn't keen to keep her," says the mother. Her younger daughter is now floundering in the secondary section of an IGCSE school. Small concessions like photocopied notes, regular breaks and fewer assignments would help but the school isn't always receptive to suggestions.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Status of Education- 62 Special Educators for 18,000 children with disabilities in Delhi

Shikha Sharma : New Delhi, Thu Sep 05 2013, 

It has been four months since she went to school. Every time the 11-year-old turns up at her municipal school in Nehru Park, the principal sends her back, saying the school doesn't have special educators to teach her. The 11-year-old is a challenged child.
But she isn't the only one forced to stay at home because of a lack of specialist teachers. Her's is the story of more than 18,000 differently abled children studying in the city's many government and municipal schools, who, in the absence of special education teachers, are either not allowed to enter the schools or refused admission.

A report submitted by the Education department in the Delhi Assembly identified 18,000 such kids in 2009. The number of teachers qualified to teach these students, though, stands at only 62.

Around 250 teachers hired on contract under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan (SSA) were teaching in the city's many schools until May. But their contracts were not renewed once they expired. "So barring the 62 teachers engaged by the government recently, there are no teachers in both MCD and government schools now," said S C Bimal, component coordinator (special education), SSA.

In September 2009, the High Court, noting the serious paucity of special educators, directed the government and local bodies to ensure each school had at least two special educators within six months.

Following the order, the Delhi government created 927 permanent teacher posts in Directorate of Education (DoE) schools and 1,610 in MCD schools through the Delhi Subordinate State Services Board (DSSSB). But little seems to have come of it.

"For the 927 posts, 450 teachers were called for counselling and we are expecting some to join soon. With 62 guest teachers already working, the situation will improve as the second round of recruiting guest teachers and fresh recruitment of contract teachers is underway," said Amit Singla, Director, DoE.

"We have created 695 posts for special educators. As soon as the DSSSB recruits for these posts, we will fill them up," said Mukesh Yadav, PRO, South Delhi Municipal Corporation. Only nine out of 8,789 teachers shortlisted by DSSSB, though, have qualified for the job.

The quality of education, also, stands to question. "Where the Rehabilitation Council of India prescribes one teacher for every eight differently abled children, most teachers appointed on contract are given 20 schools to handle. Principals in most MCD schools refuse to admit children with disabilities. In some cases, we see a child only once a month. We may call them children with special needs but the truth is, they are the most ignored," said Ramgopal, a special educator working on contract.

Monday, April 23, 2012

MCD will create 1790 posts of Special Educator under Right to Education Act

PTIMar 19, 2011, 

NEW DELHI: In keeping with the provisions of the Right to Education Act, the MCD has decided to create 1,790 posts of special teachers for children with disabilities in schools run and aided by the civic agency.
A meeting of the MCD Standing Committee approved a proposal in this regard this week.
The creation of the posts is also in consonance with a Delhi high court order of 2008 that said at least two such teachers should be provided in each school along with necessary teaching aids and reading material.
Officials said the Education Department has, however, proposed to create one post of "special educator" in each primary school. It is in process to place a request to the High Court for consideration, they said.
"The proposal for creation of 1,790 posts of special educators -- one each for schools run and aided by the MCD -- was prepared in compliance with the direction of the court and the provisions of RTE," an official said.
The total financial implication of the project will be Rs 53.70 crore per annum and it is expected to be met put of Plan funds to be provided by Delhi government. "There is a provision of financing such expenditure under RTE. According to it, 65 per cent of the expenditure will be borne by the Union government and the remaining by the state," he said.
The Right to Education Act provides that a child suffering from disability shall have the right to pursue free and compulsory elementary education.