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‘To give equal opportunities to special-needs children is our aim’

By Anju Puri,

Principal Anju Puri writes about how schools should provide quality education to all sections of the society.

It is our dream to enable equal opportunities for children with disabilities, writes Principal Anju Puri

We believe in aligning our institutional goals to the goal 4 of SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) to provide quality education to not just the higher echelons of the society but also strive to reach out to all sections of the society with our mission of quality education.

The Covid-19 pandemic may have forced us to shut down the buildings of education but it has not diminished our zeal to enlighten and educate children.

The goals of good health and well-being of the SDGs have always been an important goal of our school but this SDG has assumed priority in this stress-ridden times when the world is battling with the pandemic and the children are suffering the trauma of loneliness, anxiety and fear.

As the guardians of the physical and emotional health of our students, we organised yoga sessions daily, teaching them how to strengthen their lungs and save themselves from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The students were also engaged in physical activities to maintain their physical fitness during the lockdown. Good food habits were encouraged by arranging online live cookery sessions and discussions on a wholesome, healthy diet. Interesting recipes were shared by the teachers and the students.

Talking to each other, sharing fears and celebrating happiness and spreading positivity is being planned this year to enrich students’ lives and safeguard their health.

The teacher-parent communication to alleviate the stress and difficulties faced by the parents combating financial crisis and health crisis is also being given precedence in the coming session.

A school is a temple of learning where values of empathy, compassion and kindness are cultivated for a better, beautiful world.

The children need to be sensitised about the differences that exist in individuals in terms of abilities and should be taught to appreciate and respect those differences.

It is our dream to enable equal opportunities for children with disabilities.

The school has worked on the maxim that each child is special and needs an individualized plan for their optimum growth.

We have visually, physically and mentally challenged students in our school who are not only provided learning opportunities in an inclusive set up but also given ample opportunities for physical activities and growth of their talent.

Even during the lockdown and online classes, we delivered face time class with eye contact and one-to-one personal interaction with the special educator. Games, activities and communication were amalgamated in the lesson plan for each child as per their needs.

The apps for the visually impaired children were discussed with them and they were guided on installing and using them on their devices.

Regular online meetings and celebration of festivals with them facilitated a regular connection with these children. The parents’ concerns were taken up frequently and addressed to their satisfaction.

We intend to build an even stronger communication link with them by involving their class and friends in interactions for a healthier learning environment for all.

We hope we are contributing in a humble way to the SDG 10 laid down by the United Nations to reduce inequality.

An equal world for all children where they find love, happiness, success stories and avenues for exploring the world and their own selves is our dream for all the children of this world. We are happy to play a small part in this big dream.

Anju Puri is the principal of DAV Public School, Vasant Kunj. All views expressed are personal.

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