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School Readiness: Opening Doors for Inclusive Education

School Readiness: Opening Doors for Inclusive Education

What is Inclusive Education?

Inclusive Education is education for all irrespective of differences. According to UNESCO, inclusive education is seen as “a process of addressing and responding to the diversity of needs of all learners through increasing participation in learning, cultures and communities, and reducing exclusion from education and from within education.” Inclusive education means that all students attend and are welcomed by their neighborhood schools in age-appropriate, regular classes and are supported to learn, contribute and participate in all aspects of the life of the school. 

What is not Inclusion?

  1. Educating children in regular classes but different course of study.
  2. Educating children in special segregated environments in regular school
  3. Dumping children with special needs into the regular classroom
  4. Educating children in part-time in special school and part-time in regular school

What is the meaning of School Readiness?

Is school readiness about child being ready for education or is the school ready to offer adequate facilities? There are many questions which arise when it comes to think about practicing inclusive education. The more the questions, the more are the chances of finding solutions. Some of the other questions related to school readiness are as follows:

  1. Does your school have a mission statement that expresses the belief that the professionals and other staff strive to meet the needs of all students? Is this mission statement discussed by staff and used to guide instructional practices?
  2. Have teachers had opportunities to discuss their concerns about inclusion and have steps been taken to address these concerns?
  3. Has planning for inclusion included classroom teachers, special education teachers, other support staff, administrators, parents, and students?
  4. Have you clarified the expectations for students with disabilities who will be integrated into classrooms?
  5. Has shared planning time and possibly shared instructional time been arranged for teams of teachers?
  6. Have staff members received adequate professional development on pertinent topics (for example, collaboration, behavior management, curricular adaptation)?
  7. Has the plan for creating an inclusive school addressed the needs of all students, not just the need of students with disabilities?
  8. Have staff members become comfortable with working collaboratively?
  9. Has a pilot program been planned prior to full implementation?
  10. Have start-up resources been allocated for the inclusion effort?

These questions subtly hint at various challenges that need serious attention.

  1. The number of disabled children is very large.
  2. Their problems are very complex. 
  3. Available resources are very limited. Lack of additional manpower required to handle specific needs. Children drop out from mainstream schools due to lack of accessibility.
  4. Lack of awareness leads to demotivated and prejudiced social attitudes. Issues with Acceptance for different educational needs.
  5. Lack of suitable, quality trained, good special education professionals. 

Some measures for implementing Inclusive Education in India

  1. The Right to Education (RTE) must apply to all citizens of India.  State and central. Governments, as well as all the other social actors, should recognize the importance of a broadened concept of inclusive education that addresses the diverse needs of all learners. 
  2. A standard policy and norms of inclusion needs to be implemented in all schools and throughout Indian education system. 
  3. The preparation of teachers for special education programs should be planned differently, as the aim of these programs would be to integrate disabled persons in their own environment and community. 
  4. Differently-abled children should be treated equally as the normal children and instead of looking them in sympathy their talents and abilities should be recognized for their self-respect and welfare of the society.  
  5. Necessary school supplies such as audio learning or textbooks in Braille should be made available. Suitable modification to examination system may be required, so as to eliminate pure mathematical and logical assessments. 
  6.  Teachers attitudes towards inclusive education could be formed and developed in the context of an educational system which can provide some specific conditions in order to have a good practice in this field. 

It is imperative to understand that inclusion is more than a method of educating students with special needs.  Success for inclusion needs collaborative efforts of all stakeholders. The road to achieving inclusive education is a long one, on which challenges and opportunities will arise. But if we start now with the first step we will certainly move forward towards our goal.

Your Biggest Baby Worries: Newborn Care Week 2018

Your Biggest Baby Worries: Newborn Care Week 2018

Coming into the world is a big and scary adventure for babies. Right after birth, they start communicating and giving little signals when they are tired, hungry or confused. It’s the job of a parent to comprehend these signs and make the world a welcoming place for their little ones.

Infants go through many changes in life to get used to the outside world after spending nine comfortable months in a protected womb! This adjustment almost always goes well, but there are certain warning signs you should watch out for.

When it comes to newborn development, what all should a parent be concerned about?

Seeing, Hearing and Communicating

Your child:

Isn’t responding to bright lights or can’t focus their eyes on something. Babies start to get attracted to shiny lights, primary colours, stripes, dots and patterns that really captivate their attention.

Isn’t watching your face or looking you in the eye. Since the human face is the first object they recognize, babies begin to remember particular faces and other objects during the first three months.

Isn’t hearing things – like startling sounds. Newborns can hear, and have been hearing noises from well before they were born. So, it can be worrying if they suddenly stop responding to it.

Behaviour and Movement

Your child:

  • Isn’t feeding well. Some warning signs related to feeding and digestion are harder to identify than behavioral changes or physical warning signs. The signs can range from having a poor appetite to sucking, spitting or vomiting problems.
  • Isn’t sleeping well. Healthy sleep is vital, especially in babies. Inadequate or low-quality naps will threaten healthy development and seriously hamper growth.
  • Isn’t moving their arms or legs. Infants in their first eight weeks have no control over their movements, they don’t know how to make each part of their body move voluntarily. They only start to work out how to lift their heads when lying on the tummy, and kick their legs by about eight weeks.

Children grow and develop at different speeds. If you’re worried that your child’s development isn’t ‘normal’, it might help you to know that the definition of ‘normal’ varies a lot. However, if you still feel that something’s not right, see your family health doctor to be sure.

Newborn Care Week is celebrated every year in India from 15-21 November, aimed at raising awareness about the importance of newborn care for child survival and development. Mata Bhagwanti Chadha Niketan actively participates in promoting infant health development and ensuring that children with special needs are taken care of professionally. Our hope is to better the state of infant and child mortality in India.

Soccer Fever Grips Global Citizens Once Again

Soccer Fever Grips Global Citizens Once Again

With FIFA world cup just around the corner, Soccer fever is on. Fans across 200 countries wait for this moment to cheer for their favorite teams, which seems no less than a festival. With such widespread fan following, India isn’t behind any other Soccer loving nation!

Now that we’ve stated the obvious, let’s shed some light on the amazing facts around Soccer and India.

To begin with, Soccer has been a sport in India for more than 100 years. And you would be amazed to know that Asia’s oldest Soccer club, Mohun Bagan A.C., has its roots in Kolkata.

India is currently at the 97th rank in the FIFA worldwide rankings, and with Sunil Chhetri leading the Indian team, high hopes are pinned on breaking records and setting new ones.

The most played, loved and watched- by- millions sport has left our specially abled children at MBCN awestruck. Overcoming all odds in life, our superstars aced the game like pros. In recent times, our special children have not just won several matches, but have won gazillions of hearts with their sheer dedication and love towards the sport.

Mata Bhagwanti Chadha Niketan’s powerful five player team won the Football State Games that were organised by Special Olympics Bharat – Delhi, at The Tagore International School. Another budding footballer, Praveen Nailwal, has won a gold medal in Unified Football. He was also awarded a sum of ₹62,000 from the Delhi Government as a token of appreciation. Our special children not just make us proud, but inspire us to give our best, overcoming all the difficulties.

We, at The Ponty Chadha Foundation ensure that each child at Mata Bhagwanti Chadha Niketan – a school for the specially abled children, get the opportunity to come out with flying colors.

MBCN Soccer 1

MBCN Soccer 2

Our faculty and highly equipped staff focus on cultivating not just creativity in our specially abled children, but also encourage them to explore their potential and walk on the path of a successful future. We help children with special needs become independent by empowering them and their families with the care they need. At MBCN, we create an environment for optimum quality of life for such kids, their trainees and the families.

International Day of Sport for Development and Peace – Celebrating the Contribution of Sports to Our Lives

International Day of Sport for Development and Peace – Celebrating the Contribution of Sports to Our Lives

Sports is a universal language that transcends every border, real or imaginary. People across nations, religion, cultures and belief systems have joined hands time and again in the name of sports. To celebrate this international phenomenon of people coming together for sports and its contribution in shaping our society, the General Assembly of United Nations has declared 6th April of every year as International Day of Sport for Development and Peace. The date 6th April was chosen to commemorate the inauguration of the first Olympic games of modern era, in 1896, in Athens (Greece).

Sports has played an important role in everyone’s life, be it in the form of a competitive sport, physical activity or recreational play. Children learn to function in competition for the first time while participating in sports, and adults learn to put their differences aside while playing or watching sports. Sports is a great educator, and this is the sole reason it has grown to be an integral part of our society.

Mata Bhagwanti Chadha Niketan, a school for special children, understands the importance of sports in the physical development of its students and its ultimate role in educating the society. Keeping this in mind, MBCN has designed its curriculum in such a way that there is equal focus on academics as well as sports. MBCN encourages and empowers its students who show an interest in sports. It provides in-house training for various sport related activities and events. MBCN students have proven their mettle in various sports such as football, softball, cycling, badminton, etc. at national level championships. Here are MBCN’s 12 shining star sportspersons:

International Day of Sport for Development and Peace is an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of children like these, who have risen above their physical condition and achieved what they truly deserve. On this day, let us recognize the growing contribution of sports to the societal development and the empowerment of our younger generations.