India: Education project unveiled for children with learning disability

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M. Dinesh Varma  DECEMBER 18, 2017

This is the first of its kind initiative in South India, says the Sri Aurobindo Society

The Sri Aurobindo Society (SAS) has rolled out a comprehensive mental health education project aimed at identifying children with learning disability and helping them achieve inherent potential.

Rupantar was launched a few days ago with a three-day workshop for teachers in Puducherry. About 70 teachers of classes 1 to 8 participated in the training.

In due course, the programme will cover all teachers in Puducherry, an SAS associate said.

The primary objective of the project was to encourage inclusive education in Puducherry by training regular teachers of government schools to be able to identify children with learning disability and adopt an empathetic and sensitive approach towards them. Parents and siblings of these children would be empowered to support the child’s learning, inside and outside the school.

Pradeep Narang, chairman of Sri Aurobindo Society, said: “For the last decade or so, we have been on a quest for providing children an equal opportunity of education. Sri Aurobindo Society has introduced its comprehensive mental health education programme for government schools of Puducherry. In South India, this project will be the first of its kind”.

Rupantar is an initiative that targets the areas of highest impact in education with innovative solutions to transform a State education system.

The programme is well entrenched in Uttar Pradesh, where it was introduced in 2015. It now has roots in at least nine other States.

The focus areas include teacher empowerment, vision and insight development among government decision-makers, leadership skills for education administration, management skills for principals, and finally participation of school management committees (SMCs) that represent parents and the community.

In 2015, Rupantar was started across all 75 districts of Uttar Pradesh. With more than 5 lakh teachers in over 1.7 lakh schools involved, Rupantar will eventually benefit more than 2 crore children of the State — of which over 70% are in rural areas.

Value-based system

Rupantar aims to establish an education system that is based on deeper human values and empowers children to be life-long learners and fulfilled happy beings. Its approach is to harness the potential of entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship to develop scalable, sustainable solutions focussing on refining the existing processes rather than creating new systems.

Rupantar works with governments, thought leaders, institutions and entrepreneurs to transform education, guided by the vision of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother.

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