A three member team of experts from Hope and Compassion, a UK-based NGO visited Pahal Government Resource Centre for Special Children, Mall Mandi which they plan to make a model exemplary school in Punjab. The team aims to evaluate and assist disabled, orphaned or have limited resources by conducting education, skill development and child rights promotion seminars and workshops. The team is also planning to go to Chandigarh so as to meet Punjab’s education minister Dr Daljit Singh Cheema and ask him for assistance which they feel is missing.
The team is headed by the director of the project, Manpreet Kaur. The main motto of the team is to educate special children and give them an enriched life. Further they want to teach the Punjab Society that instead of abandoning the children with needs, they should always be encouraged.
Manpreet Kaur said, “We are running the same programme for special children in UK and if the children in UK can learn and grow with this programme even the children in Punjab can, but all they need is a support from the higher authorities. In Punjab, currently we are getting support of SSA and thus together we are geared up to enrich the lives of the hundreds of special children.”
Earlier in April 2015 the team visited to complete the first phase of ‘Education programme for special children’. During the first phase somewhere around 120 children were examined at Amritsar’s Pahal Government Resource Centre for Special Children. Now they are again back in Amritsar to expand the programme and take it to the next level. During this visit they are observing the day to day working and to make sure that Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) is utilizing the study material and running the programme in a successful way.
Further the director added, “We are waiting for this center to shift into their new premises and then we shall implement next stage of the education programme. In this programme our aim is not to take these special children into mainstream education rather we train present teaching professionals to educate the children and enhance their individual capabilities so that they have a quality and enriched life.”
For this Dharaminder Singh, district incharge of Inclusive education for disable (SSA) said, “We would be shifting in a government school of Ranjit Avenue which has a better infrastructure and we are sure that it would become a model school and can be replicated in other districts.” This is so because their next visit is scheduled in April 2016. However a team comprising of 15 experts will visit to provide a 15-day session by giving lessons plans and individual child training to the teachers.
The director also told, “Past four years we are associated with SSA but that’s on the local level, now the time has come we need support on the higher level and that is possible if the state government supports us for this we would meet the education minister Punjab and tell him that we are ready to send special educators in UK who can come to India and train the teachers, we would also provide facilities, equipments and may be in coming times infrastructure – but we expect the authorities to back us in making Amritsar school a model exemplary school for teaching special children.”
The team is hopeful that if the programme is accepted by education authorities of Punjab on a large scale then in the near future the school will become Epitome of Punjab. When it will receive such a good response then surely new children will get enrolled who presently are not sent to the school by their parents due to societal and many other issues.