Teachers must focus on needs of special children: Dr Sarvamangala

Dean, Faculty of Education, UoM, Dr Sarvamangala rued the poor state of education in the state despite various facilities extended by the state government

As the traditional classrooms do not effectively cater to the needs of physically and specially-challenged children, special education system to cater to special educational needs has turned out to be a boon to such children thus benefitting them at large.

“The state governments too were encouraging the system and a special curriculum in line with CBSE was also adopted in this regard,” said Dean, Faculty of Education, University of Mysore, Dr Sarvamangala.

Speaking at a five-day training programme on ‘Curriculum Adaptation for Children with Special Needs’ organised by the All India Institute of Speech and Hearing (AIISH) for teachers of Mysuru district, Dr Sarvamangala hailed the Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act that ensures every child between the age groups of six and 14 years have free education.

She also expressed her concern over the dismal condition of education in the state despite the fact that Karnataka government was extending all the facilities.

“Despite the Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act, only 55 percent of children in the age groups of six and 14 are entering the school campus of which five percent are special children. What more alarming is the 0.51 percentage of special children who manage to come to the mainstream,” Dr Sarvamangala pointed.

The problem, she said, can effectively be addressed if teachers were trained on how they can change their approach in teaching special children. “Teachers and parents need to help children with disabilities and slow learners with love and affection. They should help them shun the inferiority complex and make them feel confidant,” Dr Sarvamangala advised.

AIISH Director In-charge Asha Yathiraj emphasised the need for making textbooks attractive for children by incorporating images and text.

“Images draw children’s attention hence cost cutting should not be given as an excuse to avoid the printing of images,” she said adding “Making the text bold text is another way of drawing children’s attention,” she said.

The aim of the programme was to equip mainstream and special educators with knowledge and skills to provide enriching and barrier-free learning environments to promote education of children with special needs.

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