The Silver Beach Singaram Pillay School for Hearing Impaired, Villivakkam, is a boon to parents having children with hearing problems. Stepping into the sixth year, the school has every reason to be proud as the State Government has adopted it as a model school.
N. Ravi, Project Coordinator, said, “Based on the success of this school, the State Government has opened 30 centres throughout the State adopting the policy of having a special school in the regular school.”
Inaugurated in 2004, the school, started by the Rotary Club of Madras Silver Beach in association with Singaram Pillay Group of Schools, gives specialised training involving infant training and parent counselling (for newborns and parents), preparatory and parent guidance (for children under two years and their parents) and preschool (for children from two to three years) free of cost.
Shanmugasundari, principal of the school, said even 24-36 month babies are admitted in the school. She said that every child detected with hearing impairment will have residual hearing and so early intervention can help in making the child overcome hearing problem and make them eligible to join regular schools.
Though children under the age of three years are not admitted, the school admits hearing impaired children in certain special cases.
Ms. Shanmugasundari said that the school has two teachers, who have undergone professional training at Bala Vidyalaya School for Young Deaf Children, Adyar, taking care of four children at a time in a classroom. She said: “Parents have a greater role to play in making their children overcome the hearing problem by talking with them regularly. The success rate of the school in integrating children suffering from hearing problem into the normal stream was 11 of a total of 17 students. A child named M. Ajay, who was studying in this school, had participated in a Thirukkural competition and won prize also.”
The only grievance of the teachers and the members of the Rotary Club of Madras Silver Beach was that not many parents are aware of this school providing the best facilities to the hearing impaired children free of cost.
The school housed in N.S. Pinagapany Memorial building has been named after the founder of the school. The Rotary Club of Madras Silver Beach has spent Rs. 7.5 lakhs to construct the school that has two sound-treated classrooms and the latest educational aids for the training programme.
The school functions from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and can be contacted at 2617 2845.