A specialised three-day teacher training workshop was held for the educators at Mata Bhagwanti Chadha Niketan (MBCN) from 11th-13th July, 2016 in collaboration with Amity Institute of Rehabilitation Sciences. Approved by the Rehabilitation Council of India, the workshop was organised on the theme of ‘Enhancing Cognitive and Perceptual Skills for Children with Developmental Delay.’
MBCN has been focusing quite a lot upon building its infrastructure to offer high standards of education for the differently-abled. It is modifying its teaching learning materials and training its teachers to provide Continuing Rehabilitation Education (CRE) to the students.
Now-a-days, it has become important for every special educator to have a sound knowledge of CRE programme before engaging the differently-abled in an atmosphere of practical learning. The need of this can be owed to the ongoing renewal of the entire programme. As latest developments keep adding up to the curriculum, teachers are taught about every new thing that comes to the fore.
Continuing Rehabilitation Programme
The programme is held annually for the MBCN special educators. The workshop is conducted by Amity University covering each topic bit-by-bit. Mrs. Manju Chamoli, Head of Department, Autistic and Activity Wing at MBCN said that the programme holds importance for educators as new techniques are being devised every day with changing trends in the field of disability. Even the technology keeps on modifying itself and thus, time-to-time updates need to be added in the teaching module and it is important that the special educators take a cue from it.
Cognitive and Perceptual Skills of Differently-Abled
Ask Deepti Ahuja, a faculty at Amity Institute of Rehabilitation Sciences (AIRS) and an occupational therapist by profession about what cognitive and perceptual skills are and she will tell you that each is different and that they delve deep into each as they help the differently-abled academically and in activities of daily living.
All these activities are significant as the functional ability of a child with special needs gets enhanced through them. The CRE programme is to keep the educators updated and informed in this area through latest findings. It also shows them the way to incorporate cognitive and perceptual skills into academics and school set-up to enhance the functionality of special children.
According to Dr. Ram Chandra Saxena, Assistant Professor at AIRS, the development and changing government policies like Right to Education (RTE) are changing our outlook. RTE envisages that any child between the age group of 6-14 years has the right to study in any of the schools irrespective of his or her abilities.
Enhancing Functional Ability through Accessibility Tools
Therefore, the idea is to offer inclusive education by accepting children with disabilities in general classrooms with focus upon the individual skills of each. For that, it is necessary first to enhance the skills of teachers. A teacher must be able to identify the functional skills of special learners and intervene to bring improvements in them for a better life ahead.
Principal at MBCN, Dr. Vandana Sharma says that we need a motivated team of teachers and therapists which can imbibe the lessons of life before passing them on. To empower and encourage them for improving lives, MBCN trains its educators in different areas including a week’s Microsoft training to make them acquainted with accessibility tools in technology. The underlying aim is to discover ways of using technology to make learning simpler and fun for the children with special needs.