The Disability Commissioner’s office is looking at revamping syllabus in schools in the state for children with special needs and may include suggestions like special training for teachers which experts say is a requirement.
Deputy Commissioner in the Disability Department Vijaya Pawar said, “The syllabus in these schools is almost the same as that of regular schools. In schools for the blind or the deaf and dumb, the syllabus is not different from regular syllabus. We are thinking of upgrading other training and special teaching for these students.”
Pawar said, “When it comes to mental challenges or learning disabilities, we check age and intelligence quotient and keep students in groups as per level of understanding. Hence, syllabus needs to be revamped.”
As per Pawar, there are around 750 schools for children with special needs catering to 35,000 students. “Changing the syllabus is not easy.
First we will seek expert opinion, and talk to special educators. We will consult people who work with such children. A proposal will be made to revise syllabus. It will be approved and only after that will the real work begin,” said Pawar.
Maharashtra State Council of Educational Research and Training makes the curriculum for all state board students. Special children are sometimes unable to grasp certain aspects of the syllabus.
For these children, there are special educators. After the Right to Education Act 2009, came into effect, there has been a move to phase out special schools and to bring students with special needs into mainstream education. This means more training for teachers in regular schools.
Training of teachers should be upgraded, say experts. “There is a need to revamp syllabus and training,” said Chandrakant Bhosale, principal, Poona School and Home for Blind Boys.
“There are certain things they find hard to understand. Special educators complete a diploma to enhance teaching skills. This needs to be upgraded,” added Bhosale.