UP to train teachers to handle cross-disabilities in classrooms

There are 3.40 lakh CWSN enrolled in 1.32 lakh schools across UP, for which, there are only 2,256 special educators
Pic credits: Edex Live
Pic credits: Edex Live

Nearly 60,000 head teachers in state-run schools will be given special training to sensitise them in handling cross-disabilities in classrooms.The training is aimed at bringing inclusiveness to classrooms.

In this regard, the state education department in collaboration with Shakuntala Mishra National Rehabilitation University (SMNRU) and UNICEF (United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund) have come up with 90-day training module, 80 days online and 10 days offline, as stated in a report by IANS.

This will make the teachers aware of the concept of inclusive education and introduce them to different disabilities. They will be trained in working with children with special needs (CWSN) in classrooms, parent counselling, screening of physical barriers of CWSN, early identification, types, causes, prevention and strategies of children with hand, limb, sight and hearing disabilities.

Additionally, these teachers will also be sensitised to autism spectrum disorder, specific learning disability, individualised education plan and specific teaching-learning disability. Speaking about this, Nand Kumar, who is heading the project in the education department, said, "Through this, we will be able to instill confidence in teachers to reach out to special children."

There are 3.40 lakh CWSN enrolled in 1.32 lakh schools across UP, for which, there are only 2,256 special educators. Further, a district coordinator said, "With few special educators against high number of CWSN, it was thought appropriate to train head teachers to increase their knowledge, understanding and training to deal with children with special needs. Understanding will lead to empathy."

Education specialist, UNICEF UP, Ritwik Patra, said, "When a teacher sees a child with disabilities, they are clueless. They feel they cannot deal with them or that the child is not capable of doing anything, both of which are untrue. Diagnostic teaching module of UNICEF will help the teachers to navigate the ways to support the children with disabilities in best possible ways."

Associate Professor, Department of Visually Impaired, SMNRU VS Mishra said, "We are aiding the education department with our expertise so that special educators who are our master trainers will train general education teachers to impart education to all, including children with disabilities. These teachers will gradually, through their hands-on experience benefit CWSN."

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