TCV CENTRE FOR SPECIAL EDUCATION
TCV Center for Special Education, TCV School, Chauntra was started in March 2005 with twelve children collected from all the TCV branch schools. At that time, there were two trained Special Educators and one foster mother to look after the children. The children are heterogeneous in age as well as in their disability. The program started with giving more individualized attention focused on three academic subjects, Tibetan Language, English Language and Mathematics with the aim of intergrading them with the mainstream school.
Through experience, we learnt that not all the children in the program could achieve this goal. Therefore, with the aim of making them independent and self-reliant member in the society in future the program started a Vocational unit having tailoring, carpentry, knitting etc that gave hope for some children. As the time went by the number of children increased and at present, the program has twenty-nine children, three teaching staff and one foster mother.
Basically the children in the Center undergo an observation period where a staff from the Center will prepare a case history of each child under the following Headings.
- Identification Data (Name, age, Sex, Date of Birth, Roll No: Address etc)
- Presenting problem (why s/he is referred)
- History of the presenting problem
- School/ academic history
- Medical History
- Classroom Observation
- Home Observation
- Personal interview and test
After this, a recommendation will be made. If the child is admitted in the center, first s/he will be in the beginner group where again more observations will be made. Then s/he will be in either the advanced group or the vocation group. Whichever group the child will be s/he will have both academic as well as vocation periods every day.
ACADEMIC PROGRAM: Every day the first three periods will be academics for all. Here the children are divided into groups based on their individual talent and capability. Therefore, a teacher might handle two or three different groups in one period. Here more stress will be given to those children who have hope in academic integration. They also have some periods in the afternoon as well.
Mostly in the afternoons, we have vocation periods. A child is made to try whichever trade s/he likes and then finally chooses a trade. Here for the advanced group we usually give computer application training and others a trade of their choice. However, this year we gave extra reading and writing exercises for them. For the other a vocation of their choice is taught. Here we have most expenses, as we need to buy materials like plywood, nails, Fevicol glue, cloths, thread, colors etc.
The soft subjects like music, art, library and P.T; our children mix with the main school. They have one period every week in each subject.
A. (ACTIVITY DAY)-
We have a weekly one-day program called (ACTIVITY DAY). This concept was developed after a discussion with Ms. Necola Tansley (consultant Resource Person of DoH for program for Disabled people). She is also well known to TCV. On an ACTIVITY DAY, the whole day will be used for doing a particular Very practical everyday ACTIVITY say ‘Making Tea’. The morning periods will be used for Planning, writing the Recipe, calculating budget and learning words and sentences related with the activity. This will be followed by going to the market for first hand shopping experience. A teacher will be there to help but mainly the children have to do all the bargaining, paying etc. This will be followed by a presentation by the shopping group in the class. Finally a practical activity guided by a teacher. This program has made many of our children able to prepare simple food and items. This year we had three groups in this.
B. SELF RELIANT PROGRAM-
Related with this program we indigenously developed a program called
" Self Reliant Program" This we do every Saturday during the first two Periods. Here we give all the responsibility of planning, budgeting, shopping (assisted by a teacher) preparing and do a small business of selling the item in the school. The aim behind this program is, if at all they are not able to succeed academically or in Vocation they at least could earn their life by doing some petty business like selling Laphing in the street when they grow up. The program started with collection of Rs.10 from each child from his pocket money. Now it runs without asking help from anyone.
We began this program using one period every week for physical exercises to develop flexibility, balancing and motor coordination which almost all of our children are poor in. From last year we are giving two periods per week. Now we have three groups with more focused therapies based on their individual needs. The Groups are:-
- Speech Therapy Group under Mr. Migmar Tsering la. The group meets two periods each week. With the help and guidance from the teacher, the children were made to correct their speech. Mispronounced words or sounds are detected and then taught step by step to make it correct. Lots of children have showed great improvements.
- Physical Therapy under Mr. Tenzin Jigme la. Here the focus is on those children who lack physical flexibility, motor coordination etc. Lots of children benefited by this.
- Counseling under Mr. Chime Dorjee: Both Group as well as Individual Counseling is given. During group counseling, the discussions mostly centered on, choosing Aim in life, Purpose of Coming to the Centre, Life Outside the Care of TCV. Many of our children could now at least think of an Aim in their life.
Number of Children in the Home---------------------------29
Number of Staff:------------------------------------------------4(3 TEACHERS + 1 HOME MOTHER)