BHUBANESWAR: Minister of State for Mass Education Pratap Jena here on Friday said a special programme would be launched to detect hearing and speech impaired students in elementary level so that they could be provided with specialized education.

Addressing a workshop on “Better teaching and quality education for hearing-impaired students,” organised by Satyabhama Devi Welfare Trust here, Mr. Jena said often students bearing hearing impairment had to leave education in the middle because they could not cope with mainstream students.

“We need to detect the differently-abled students from the beginning and facilitate them special education. Moreover, Orissa Primary Education Programme Authority (OPEPA) will undertake a special programme to provide proper hearing-aids to these students,” Mr. Jena said.

Mass education minister felicitated 23 hearing and speech impaired students, who passed the annual Plus II Arts examination for the first time from Satyabhama Devi College for Hearing Impaired at Patrapara here. “Parents do not give much emphasis on language development of children at early stage.

They have the perception that these children are liabilities not the assets. Even they avoid talking to the children. They expect them to become farmers, labourers or carpenter in future,” said Niroja Laxmi Mohapatra, principal of SDCHI.