Sign language, trans kids: North MCD schools stress on inclusive curriculum

New Delhi, Aug 30 : Ahead of the enactment of National Education Policy 2020, the municipal corporal of North Delhi (North MCD) has chalked out an education plan to overhaul the curriculum of its three lakh students who study in 700 different primary schools. For the corporation, it is a project to change the conventional study system.

The project includes holistic learning, sensitisation and workshops of the teachers, implementing class teaching plans, and week-wise activities with particular focus on imparting social skills, inclusive education, gender sensitization, and skill development training. It is prepared by the education department of North MCD.

“For decades, we have been following a particular teaching pattern. With time, reforms are needed for the overall development of the children,” said Ira Singhal, Director of Education in North MCD.

However, what catches the eye is the inclusion of children with special needs (CWSN) in the same classroom with other children.

“We have proposed that CWSN with mild issues such as autism or learning issues like dyslexia should sit with other children. The teacher will be sensitized and trained to help the CWSN. The motive is to reduce the sense of alienation among these children and encourage their acceptance just like any other child,” Singhal said.

“Sensitisation of all teachers on various types of disabilities is important. We have proposed regular workshops from subject matter experts to be conducted for teachers to sensitize them and equip them to teach all children within the same classrooms. One such primary workshop has already been conducted this year in July,” Singhal said.

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Singhal also said that the testing would be conducted for all children to check any undiagnosed disabilities the children may be suffering from.

“This will be undertaken with the help of trained experts only. Once the children are identified, individual learning plans for each of them shall be made so that they can be educated to the best of their abilities,” she added.

The responsibility of identifying CWSN and customizing courses for them would be shouldered on special educators who, as per Singhal, are not utilized to the best of their abilities.

“We have a lot of Special Educators, but due to lack of proper identification of children with special needs, we have not been able to utilise them to the best of their abilities. After identification, they will be made to design special learning plans for each CWSN and ensure the proper learning of that child. The aim would be to assimilate the child into a mixed classroom as early as possible by giving him/her the requisite skills,” she said.

Regarding the requisite skills, the corporation has planned to teach basic sign language to all the children. It is proposed that compulsory sign language training is held for all children in grades 3 to 5. The corporation believes that it is imperative so that all the children know and understand each other.

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“What generally happens is that only mute children are able to converse with each other because it is never taught to other children. People do not comprehend what a mute child tries to convey because they never learned the language. Even their parents do not understand them as they also never learned sign language. This scenario largely fails the purpose of language that is to communicate. Our motive is to break this barrier and create an environment where flow of emotions and ideas do not cease because of language,” Singhal explained.

The classes regarding the same are already planned for the teachers in an online format.

Besides, it is proposed to include transgender children in regular classes as well. Singhal said that it is high time to acknowledge the social injustice that happened with the transgender community.

“Such children do not get the required respect and space in society. Also, they are subjected to prejudice and mockery by classmates and even by the teachers. The inclusivity is for all, and that is why we have planned a sensitisation workshop for teachers. If teachers become sensible, the students will automatically learn,” she added.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from IANS service.

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