Special children always need a lot of attention and care. However, during the lockdown and the subsequent school closure, they found themselves confined within their homes. Hence, online classes were not an easy route for them. A special whiteboard initiative was also implemented by several schools for the help of all the children with special needs.
Special Children and their Crisis:
During the pandemic, education went on the digital route. Hence, due to the prolonged shutdown of educational institutions, students were left with no choice but to continue with online studies. However, only normal students are able enough to impart education digitally. Therefore, it became a herculean task for parents with specially-abled children to make them sit for online classes. Lathika, the mother of an autistic child said that her child never cooperated in watching online lessons. Hence, the mother had to give up eventually.
In Kerela, there are around 400 registered schools for special students that were closed. Due to the work-life of parents, they could not be available for their children all the time. Therefore, a long session of online classes was not possible.
Measures implemented in the lockdown to help Special Children:
Samagra Shiksha Kerela had introduced the White Board initiative in June 2020. Hence, by this scheme, teachers recorded tailored contents as per the requirements of each special child. Since different category students have different needs, specialized content was the best resort possible. Parents also took guidance from teachers and professional therapists available at the schools for assistance. Several children were disheartened as they couldn’t go out or socialize much. Hence, teachers suggested involving them in simple household chores. All this helped them cope up with the situation.
Schools claim that students have been positively impacted by online classes. Teachers were flexible according to the work schedule of the parents. Hence, schools and teachers are trying their best to make special students comfortable with the new normal.