Mumbai

Competition aims to build confidence of special kids

Actor Ratna Pathak Shah and the students at the valedictory ceremony on Monday.

Actor Ratna Pathak Shah and the students at the valedictory ceremony on Monday.  

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More than 800 students from BMC-run schools take part in skill development contests

A ten-day competition for special students from 18 Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC)-run schools in the city concluded on Tuesday, with over 800 students getting lessons in skill development and confidence-building to make them employment-ready.

Called MiPann (‘me too’ in Marathi), the event had students with intellectual disabilities, from centres between Dadar and Borivali, taking part. The competition started on January 6 and concluded in Dadar at the BMC Education Department.

Suman Kalekar, a teacher at a municipal special school in Mumbai Central, said, “The children were extremely excited. This was the first time they took part in a competition. There was an elocution contest, and the children had never performed before an audience. They wanted to choose the topics on their own. We made the students practise every day. This is an annual event, and we are really looking forward to next year.”

Seventeen-year-old Nikhil Kamle from Kandivali was one of the participants. “I am called special, whereas you are treated as normal. I have no shame about who I am,” Nikhil said.

The BMC runs 18 special schools. “Our curriculum is categorised as A, B and C level. Where A is equivalent to Class III, B is Class V and C is equivalent to Class VII,” Gargi Mhatre, the school inspector for all the 18 civic-run special schools, said. The special curriculum has one group comprising ten people taught by one teacher. The students are divided as per theirlearing disability: mild, moderate, severe and profound.

Actor Ratna Pathak Shah was present at the valedictory function on Monday to congratulate the students. “No student should lose his or her focus from the process of learning. I am very glad to be here today, and no matter what we do for students as special as you, it will never be enough,” she said.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2020 8:41:27 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/competition-aims-to-build-confidence-of-special-kids/article22452140.ece

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