Lockdown and no school is difficult for all students alike, and the education sector is doing wonders in reaching out to the students online. But the special-needs children require a slightly different approach, which is very well known to the Inclusive Education Resource Teachers (IERTs) from Ludhiana. They have come up with innovative activities to engage these students during the lockdown and keep them learning.
The IERTs have made videos instructing kids in craft activities like thumb paintings and making of keychain holders and tissue paper stands from waste. In fact, they’ve created videos to help them learn how to prepare simple dishes in the kitchen like sandwiches and also learn the Bhangra, Punjab’s traditional dance form.
Inclusive education for disabled programme, Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan, covers 5,827 children under the act in the district, with 35 IERTs and 47 IE volunteers helping.
IERT Ritu Attri told Hindustan Times, “We started online classes for 52 students at our centre 20 days ago. We engage them in creative activities. Through WhatsApp videos, I show them craft activities, such as using ice-cream sticks, paint and brush to make a tissue paper stand. These activities are a big hit among the students, who show a keen interest in participating and post back images and videos of their creations.” Ms Attri has also created a sign language video to teach hearing-impaired students about vegetables.
Another IERT Harjit Kaur said, “I have made videos to help the kids improve their eye contact and motor skills. Besides handwriting tips, I also teach them thumb painting. We have urged the parents to help the children pick up these techniques.”
IERT Kamaljit Kaur added, “Many students have shown interest in learning bhangra steps. I have advised parents to ask students to take frequent breaks so they do not feel burdened.”
The efforts of these special-ed teachers are not going in vain when they see their beloved students smile while perfecting a technique like thumb-painting. They feel as proud as any educator would. Recently, their efforts were also appreciated by Rajinder Kaur, district education officer (Elementary Education).