Candidates prefer to take up govt, other jobs instead of private ones, which is causing
Teachers who apply for jobs in schools for the specially abled are not qualified enough to teach.
Laxmi Narayan, a math teacher at the Karnataka Welfare Association for the Blind, Bengaluru, informed The Observer that they have 11 teachers, but only one of them has holds the degree required to teach the students. Some have 6-8 months of training which is not enough for the students to understand what they are taught.
“I do not have a special DEd; I have done BSc and BEd, and undergone 10 months of training. I have taught here for three years. It was difficult at first but now the students are very comfortable with me,” Laxmi Narayan said.
M.N. Srinivasan, the math, English and Kannada teacher at the association, shared: “I am a special child who cannot see, and that is why I am in this profession. This school lacks teachers who have a special degree. Other than me, the computer teacher has done a special degree.”
The Diploma Course in Special Education aims to develop professionals for special education within a broad framework of education. The course enables pre-service teachers to acquire knowledge, develop competencies and practice skills to impart education to children with disabilities.
Every year, they advertise in vain for teachers with special qualifications. People with these qualifications prefer to join government offices or other sectors.
“Our school needs more teachers who have done the special degree,” Srinivasan added.
Ilahi Begum, the headmistress of the association, said: “We are managing with the teachers we have; but if we get teachers with special degrees, it will be easier for us to teach the students. We get no complaints from the parents….”
The association, built 50 years ago, teaches six subjects – English, Kannada, science, math, social studies and geography – besides music, crafts and computers, up to the 10th standard. It has a teacher who teaches locomotion and mobility.
Imtiaz Sharif, who teaches at the JSS polytechnic for the Differently Abled, said: “My experience says if the school lacks in teaching staff, then technology should be used. There is software called JAWS (Job Access With Speech). This can be installed on PCs. Existing teachers should be sensitized. It is possible teach these kids.
“The medium of instruction is very important. We should teach them in the language they are comfortable with. So use of more than one language is important.”
A professor at the Braille centre of Bangalore University shared: “If a school or association doesn’t have teachers with a proper degree, then it should stop working. These students need special care and attention. A teacher must know how to deal with them. If teachers don’t go through the process, then they won’t be able to teach the students. Holding workshops afterwards is a waste of time. The government should allocate more properly qualified teachers to these schools.”
According to Section 1, Clause (m) of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, “inclusive education” means a system of education wherein students with and without disability learn together and the system of teaching and learning is suitably adapted to meet the learning needs of different types of students with disabilities.