Diversity is a Fact; Inclusion is an Act

Diversity is a Fact; Inclusion is an Act

Ms. Chitra spoke at length on the barriers to inclusive education which includes the attitudinal and communication barriers

A school culture which embraces learners with diverse abilities is better, richer, and more effective. Children with varied abilities, interests, and backgrounds who grow up and learn together in such schools, experience diversity as a community norm. The schools under the umbrella of Bhavans Middle East promote inclusive education and provide opportunities for all students to develop the attitudes, values, and skills needed to live and work alongside others in a diverse society.

To equip teachers with the skills required to manage an inclusive classroom, an online workshop on ‘Inclusive Education’ was conducted for the teachers of KG and Primary at Indian Education School, Bhavans Kuwait, on Oct 8, 2022, under the aegis of the Department of Counselling. The session started with a beautiful rendition of the prayer song by Ms. Ammaj Geddada. Ms. Meenu, Aneesh cordially welcomed the gathering. Ms. Preethi K Nair, the school counselor, gave a befitting introduction of the resource person, Ms. Chitra Vinod, a passionate special educator, and EP facilitator.

Ms. Chitra Vinod, started the workshop by explaining the meaning of the term ‘Inclusive Education’ and succinctly taught the differences between the various approaches – namely segregation, integration and inclusion which are adopted for educating differently abled children. Her statement, ‘Including differently abled children should not be considered as a problem to fix but an opportunity to learn’ struck a chord with the teachers.

Ms. Chitra spoke at length on the barriers to inclusive education which includes the attitudinal and communication barriers, physical barriers and institutional barriers. What set this talk apart was the specific strategies given by the speaker to accommodate and help children with different abilities in the mainstream classroom. Questions pertaining to motivating slow learners, improving students’ memory and retention power, and handling children with behavioural issues were efficiently addressed by the eminent speaker.

Ms. Chitra provided the teachers with different methods to help motivate slow learners and suggested ways to handle emotionally sensitive children. She also guided the teachers on various factors related to the development of behaviour in different environments. Ms.Chitra encouraged teachers to follow their intuition and adopt the best teaching methods based on children’s needs as each child is unique in his/her understanding of the concepts taught. The use of multisensory techniques, facial expressions, voice modulation, jam boards, flowcharts, and calming exercises to help younger children were explained in detail.

The teachers were immensely benefitted from the in-depth knowledge and the various methods taught throughout the workshop. Specific queries raised by the teachers were efficiently answered by Ms. Chitra during the Q and A session.

The session ended with a sense of gratitude. The headmistress of Indian Education School, Ms. Muneera Mammikutty appreciated Ms. Chitra Vinod for sharing her knowledge and expertise to enlighten the teachers and spoke of her experiences in handling differently abled children. As a token of gratitude, a certificate of appreciation was presented to the resource person by the Headmistress Ms. Muneera Mammikutty. Ms. Chitra who is also a Bhavans Alumni immensely thanked the school management for providing her with the opportunity to conduct the workshop for the teachers. The session ended with the vote of thanks proposed by Ms. Pinky Dixit.

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