Samagra Shiksha Kerala (SSK), a global program initiated by the Kerala government for the development of school education has introduced a new plan for students with disabilities, especially bedridden children.
Named “Space”, the proposed resource room will be set up in each school for disabled children in order to gain experience of attending a school.
The pilot of the project, which was carried out in Kozhikode, was successfully completed and the SSK decided to roll out the project to other districts. In Ernakulam, three schools were chosen to set up the space resource room. These are Government Vocational Higher Secondary School in Njarakkal, Poyka Higher Secondary School and Government Model HSS in Palakkuzha. According to SSK, about 500 students in the district are bedridden. The organization has awarded Rs 5 lakh to schools selected for the scheme.
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“In an educational establishment, students with disabilities must be given priority. Facilities should be provided for their comfort. But in the name of inclusion, many are content to build a ramp or rail. It is not enough. This initiative also aims to make a difference in the routine followed,” explains Manju PK, District Program Manager. Access is not limited to students of the respective school. Area students with disabilities can also use the space resource room.
An ambulance service will be available to bring students to schools. An intensive care bed, an electric wheelchair, an adaptable toilet, a therapy room, among others, will be added to these smart classrooms. “There are students with different abilities who have registered but cannot attend classes with their peers. This initiative will be a relief for these children,” adds Manju.
Special educators from SSK visited students’ homes and attended classes once a week. “We plan to hold classes in the Space Resource Room at least twice a week. A counselor and therapist will also be part of the resource room,” says Manju.
Njarakkal Vocational HSS Govt will be the first school in Ernakulam to have a space resource room. “The school is a high-tech building and has adaptable toilets. MLA KN Unnikrishnan has agreed to cover the cost of the facilities through the Pradeshika Vikasana Fund,” Manju explains. The school will be open to bedridden students who fall under the division of Vypin sub-district.