SCERT prepares innovative textbooks for special children

‘Veedum Koodum’, ‘Pom Pom Vandi’, ‘Kakkem Poochem’, ‘Virunnunnam’, ‘Aghoshangal’ ‘Thenthully’, ‘Manchady’ and ‘Kalicheppu’.

They are not titles for literary works written for children, but textbooks for differently-abled students prepared by the State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) for the coming academic year.

J. Prasad, Director, SCERT, told The Hindu on Wednesday that these books had been designed keeping in mind the mental and physical growth of differently-abled children. “The suggestions of doctors, psychologists, and experts in the field of children’s education were sought while preparing these textbooks. Such an exercise is being taken up for the first time in the country,” he said. The departments of Social Welfare and Health too were involved in the preparation.

The eight textbooks would focus on eight different skill sets. While ‘Veedum Koodum’, ‘Pom Pom Vandi’, ‘Kakkem Poochem’, ‘Virunnunnam’, and ‘Aghoshangal’ deal with the daily lives of children, ‘Thenthully’ addresses their linguistic capabilities. ‘Manchady’ caters to Mathematics and ‘Kalicheppu’ is an assortment of activities and games from which teachers can pick and choose. These books cater to the needs of the 7-11 age group.

Dr. Prasad said that there are 297 special schools in the State of which only one is run by the government while others get grant-in aid. These books would be distributed for free among the students in those schools. The SCERT has also prepared eight work books for teachers.

“There are almost two dozen types of physical and mental disabilities among children. Our effort is to address them one by one. If there is any discrepancy or mistake in the textbooks, they will be corrected and updated in the next academic year,” Dr. Prasad added.

According to Meena S., assistant professor, SCERT, who is in charge of special education, the State did not have a proper curriculum for special children so far. “Most of the schools for differently-abled children are run by private organisations, non-governmental organisations, and there are BUDS schools run by Kudumbasree units. They did not follow a uniform method,” she said.

In 2012-13, the then State government constituted a team of experts to explore the possibilities of evolving a special curriculum for them. The team reiterated the need for a special approach to the issue and the job to devise the curriculum was entrusted to the SCERT. “Computer-based activities too can be taken up either along with or as a continuation of the activities suggested in these textbooks,” Dr. Meena added.

The textbooks were officially released by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan at a function in Thiruvananthapuram on Monday.

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Printable version | Nov 26, 2021 1:25:59 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/scert-prepares-innovative-textbooks-for-special-children/article18564968.ece

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