Aakanksha N Bhardwaj
Tribune News Service
Jalandhar, October 15
The pandemic-induced shutdown of educational institutions has made things difficult for students of all ages and groups, but the children with special needs are the worst-affected.
Volunteers working under the “Inclusive Education for Disabled” initiative say teaching such students requires the use of various props and sign language, but that is very difficult to do via online mode. Ranjit Kaur, mother of 13-year-old special child Simarjit Kaur, says, “I try to help out my daughter in studies, but with not much success. She suffers from cerebral palsy. I want schools to reopen so that she could go and enjoy studying there.”
Daily wager Joginder Singh’s son Amarjit Singh (15) can’t speak properly and also has an eye trouble. “For several months, Amarjit has not studied properly. He has also not been able to complete the work assigned by his teacher,” Joginder said.
Special child Kirandeep Kaur’s father Manga said, “My 13-year-old daughter cannot study on her own. Her teacher keeps in regular touch, but online education isn’t possible for Kirandeep.”
There are 153 cerebral palsy-afflicted students in the district, while 176 are hearing impaired and 895 face mental disability.
Several parents said they were noticing behavioural changes among their children. Charanjit Kaur, one of the Inclusive Education Resource Teachers, said, “Such students used to understand lessons and follow us in the class, but now they are facing various issues.”
District Special Education Teacher Neelam said “Our volunteers/teachers make calls to the parents of such students every day. It is true that online teaching is tough for such students, but this is how we can keep in touch with them these days. We also encourage parents to have fun activity sessions with their children.”