SCERT conducts workshop on ‘mainstreaming children with learning disabilities’ on 2nd Nov 2018.
Understanding dyslexia: An initiative ‘long overdue’ in Nagaland:
‘Dyslexia’, a learning disability is still a fairly new concept in the context of Nagaland; and ‘ignorance’ about the learning disorder among some children sees them being often branded as ‘dull, dumb and stupid’.
Dyslexia cannot be cure or fixed, it is a lifelong issue. However, with the right support and intervention, children with learning disabilities can succeed in school and go on to be successful and have distinguished careers, according to Rama Tandon, the founder of Centre for Dyslexia in New Delhi.
Dyslexia is said to be very common, affecting 20% of the population. It is estimated that learning disabilities afflicts almost 1 in 5 school-going children. As a result, the government of India recognizes various learning disabilities and has made a number of provisions for mainstreaming of these students into regular schools. However, Nagaland was said to be lagging behind in its ability to support students with learning disabilities and integrate the educational system of the state.
To make a beginning, the State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT), Kohima hosted the state’s first multi-stakeholders workshop on ‘Mainstreaming Children with Learning Disabilities’ at Siemat Hall, SCERT, Kohima on Friday.
Bringing together heads of schools, special educators, policymakers, teachers, parents and government representatives for the first time, the day long programme was supported by the department of School Education. A threadbare discussion on topics ranging from understanding learning disabilities, identification, assessment and certification of students, providing early intervention for struggling students, and updating syllabus and pedagogy was held.
In his keynote address at the inaugural programme, Additional Chief Secretary Temjen Toy said this kind of workshop was long overdue, and remarked how many Nagas must have missed the bus because of dyslexia.
Asserting that it is high time for Nagas to actually join the movement and recognize the special care to be given to dyslectic children, he said identifying them was the first step. More importantly, he said, teachers must provide the same kind of education to dyslectic students, in a different way, and make sure that they are not ignored and left behind.
Toy was optimistic that the workshop will be the beginning of a huge movement in impacting the society towards understanding the issue of dyslexia. He affirmed that the state government is serious to address this issue, and was hopeful that some recommendations would come out of the workshop, and if need be, for the government to make changes in the syllabus.
The resource persons were Dr. Anupam Ahuia, Head of DEGSN NCERT, New Delhi; Rama Tandon; Dr. Niharika Nigam, Head of Standard and Quality Assurance, Skill Council for Persons with Disability, GoI; Dr. Sheffali Gulati, Pediatric Neurology, AIIMS-Delhi (via Skype); and Balendu Sharma, Office of Group Director, Govt. Affairs & Public Policy-Microsoft India, New Delhi.
They deliberated on demystifying intellectual disabilities; providing hands-on tools for teachers and parents; vocational training and skill development opportunities for students with disabilities; assessment and certification of students (via Skype) and demonstrations on technological solutions available to assist students with learning disabilities etc.