Thiruvananthapuram

Scheme to enrol children with special needs in anganwadis

The Social Justice Department has embarked on a massive exercise in the district to bring more than 600 children identified with special needs into the anganwadis so as to equip them for inclusive education.

In line with the National Early Childhood Care and Education Policy, the department recently conduced a house-to-house survey to indentify children with special needs in the below 6-year age group to integrate them into regular schools.

The house-to-house visits carried out by 3,000-odd anganwadi workers in the district could so far identify as many as 663 children in the category.

“The process is on to identify children with special needs. The anganwadi workers are continuing with their work to spot such children. We are also gathering data from the ongoing disability census carried out across the State,” says Bindu Gopinath, district programme officer of Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS).

Life-skill training

The whole exercise was intended to identify children with special needs so that they could be given inclusive education after medical assessment. The identified children would be imparted simple life skills such as how to brush, dress, and to do day-to-day chores, besides basic learning skills, she said.

An official, part of the exercise, told The Hindu that a segment of these identified children had already enrolled in special schools. “But the case is different with children living in rural areas where the parents are not aware of the need to provide special care. The parents are not aware that the children can be enrolled in a special school or a mainstream school,” she said.

Of the 663 children identified, a large number were from rural areas such as Vithura, Tholikkode, Aryanad, Vellanad and Kottoor, she added.

CIMR role

The Department has entered into an understanding with the city-based Central Institute on Mental Retardation (CIMR) to provide training to 3,061 anganwadi workers in handling children with special needs. The CIMR has provided training to around 200 workers. Father Thomas Felix, director, CIMR, said the anganwadi workers would be given basic lessons on how to make the children comprehend simple things in life and thereby improve their competence and creativity.

In rural areas, parents are not aware of the need to provide special care to such children.


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Printable version | May 20, 2022 10:44:43 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Thiruvananthapuram/scheme-to-enrol-children-with-special-needs-in-anganwadis/article7614437.ece