Frequently Asked Questions
#1. Why do we need special educators?
Since the Right to Education Act 2010, all schools in our country are expected to become inclusive. This implies taking children with disabilities as well. To cater to the needs of differently abled children trained special educators are a must. Regular education teachers are not trained to work with them.
#2. We have counselor in school. She can take care of special education too, right?
That’s like saying the Sanskrit teacher will take care of the English classes as well. She is after all a teacher. A counselor is not a special educator. There might be an overlap in their education / training but one is not a substitute for the other. They both have very distinct roles to play in a school environment.
#3. These special children need to be in special schools. Why are they in regular schools?
Special needs in children is a vast continuum. Most special needs in children can be catered to in a regular school set up with proper management techniques. There are a very few severe special needs for which special schools are there. Just because inclusion is a shift from the previously prevalent education system doesn’t make it wrong. Our society is inclusive. You don’t see all visually impaired or hearing impaired living in separate areas. Our schools need to be a learning ground for our children so that their transition is easy into the real world. We all have flaws, we all are different. Being different need not be a punishable offense. In fact it should be a reason to celebrate.
#4. How can our school become inclusive?
Inclusion is a process, its not an overnight change. There are different models available for schools to start on this process of inclusion. Ultimately it depends upon the top management. If the staff sees a principal concerned about a special child, the signal sent to all is very strong pro inclusion. If the principal ignores the child’s needs, the staff slowly learns to do the same.
#5. Can we train our teachers to become special educators?
Of course, identifying a few sensitive teachers is a great idea. Train these teachers and have them start their process from day 1. These teachers would already know the existing system of the school and integrate easily.
#6. Can we employ professionals to cater to our special education needs?
Yes, there are organisations which have programs doing exactly that. Orkids for one has various models available for catering to the special needs of children within a school. Ask for a presentation of the various options and see what is best suited for your needs.
How can Orkids help your school become inclusive?
– Would you like a Resource Centre by Orkids inside your school?
– Would you like Orkids help school start its own Resource Centre?
– Would you like the school to be well versed in all aspects of Inclusion?
– Would you be interested in Orkids’ community service program for high school students?
Empathy and patience are virtues which need to be honed in children as early as possible. Orkids offers this opportunity to the young almost-adults of our schools who can opt for spending constructive hours with children with special needs within the community service requirement of CBSE and other education boards. This exposure also opens up a relatively new and uncommon area of future career options for students keen to take up psychology and other related fields.