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Primary

1,350,000

Secondary

2,18,261

Higher Secondary

62,000

The above data indicates an alarming situation in regards to children with disabilities transitioning from Primary to Secondary schooling. This also highlights the priority with which learning of children with disabilities must be taken. CENSUS 2011 admits that around 10% of school-going children have symptoms from Learning disability in India.

5-15 percent (SLD Study 2017, International Journal of Contemporary Paediatrics) of school-going children show symptoms of Learning Disability and teachers are the first one to spot the symptoms. In a school of 500 to 700 children this becomes all the more difficult to identify the specific learning needs of the child as the teacher is not equipped with sensitization of awareness around the support for children with disabilities. If the teacher or school could refer a child to a counselor or a special educator it would be possible for the child (well not completely) to access support for their needs. However, such support for identification and addressing of programs from paraprofessionals is so expensive that children in the affordable school segment are unable to access. When children with learning difficulties are catered in special schools throughout, there is a resistance for their acceptance in the mainstream schools. Even when the child starts performing better with additional support and requires a bridging program to be included in the mainstream schooling, there is no incentive, policy or structure mandated by the Government to support the child. In the absence of all required support, which is a mandatory need for the growth, development and Inclusion of these children, there seems to be little to no light at the end of the tunnel to ever imagine Inclusion in Indian schools.

In the absence of large unawareness about where to start on the part of the management and resource constraint on the part of the schools, it becomes impossible to cater to children with learning disabilities.

"Inclusive education is not merely about providing access into mainstream school for pupils who have previously been excluded. It is not about closing down an unacceptable system of segregated provision and dumping those pupils in an unchanged mainstream system. Existing school systems in terms of physical factors, curriculum aspects, teaching expectations and styles, leadership roles will have to change. This is because inclusive education is about the participation of ALL children and young people and the removal of all forms of exclusionary practice ". Achieving this goal in India requires serious planning and efforts. In addition to many other requirements, implementation of inclusive education immensely requires positive attitudes towards inclusion among teachers, administrators and policy planners. - Yash, Pal & Singh, Dr. Yash & Agarwal, Anju. (2015). Attitudinal Barriers to Inclusive Education in India.

Approach

We focus on the implementation of:

  • Samagra Shiksha’s provision on Inclusive Education for disabled.

  • NCERT inclusive education policy recommendation

​Principles

  • Inclusion in mainstream education

  • Implementation at the core

  • Build Data for Decision Making

  • Design Scalable Approaches

TEAM

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Dr Griva Shah

Mentor

Dr. Griva Shah is a Ph.D in Inclusive Education and a Masters in Special Education with a final paper on ‘An investigation on to Every Child Matters" policy’s success in integrating the special needs children in mainstream schools and with more than 16 years of experience along with the number of professional training which has made her well versed with the knowledge and the skills required for assessing, teaching and supporting children with various disabilities. She taught special needs' children for 5 years in a Secondary mainstream school at London.

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Co-Founder

Kushal Dattani

Kushal has been on the founding team of Samait Shala and has been in the Education space since 2010. Something that really bothers him is seeing a child disengaged and struggling in the classroom. 

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Steffi

Senior Program Associate

 A compassionate social work professional with experience of 4 years as a Teach For India fellow. During the fellowship, has worked with two budget-private schools in Ahmedabad, teaching students across grades 4 to 8, while simultaneously creating an impact at the school and community level through various other projects that involved organizing inter school fests for students, setting up libraries in the community,  working with school leadership for school development and working with parents as partners for students’ education.

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Co-Founder

Priyanka

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Sai

Co-Founder & Director

Sai Manoj based in Hyderabad is an educator currently working in an alternative residential school in Andhra Pradesh. He started working in NGOs from the start of his career, where challenges in the education sector led him to apply for Teach for India fellowship in 2014. Post fellowship, he worked in multiple education spaces and developed understanding on alternate education. He currently believes all children should receive holistic education and live in harmony with nature. His other passions are farming and theatre.

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Dipon

Co-Founder & Director

Leaving a prosperous career as a software engineer, he set out on a vision to understand the equation between education and the under-privileged children. Multiple years into teaching in cities as well as villages, research on alternative education practices in India and content creation work with NCERT curriculum for online/offline models, he has finally set his goal to create a curriculum free from the burdens of achieving and move into the folds of realizing in the wonderful space of Ektara Learning Centre, Kolkata.

Priyanka is based out of the US and she is a PhD Student at University of Jyväskylä. She served as a backbone in the foundational years of Samait Shala to help understand classroom dynamics and teacher support areas. She also published a research article on “GraphoLearn India: The Effectiveness of a Computer-Assisted Reading Intervention in Supporting Struggling Readers of English” which is published as part of the book “The Role of Letter Speech Sound Integration in Typical and Atypical Reading Development”.

Our Milestones

2016

We worked with 4 classrooms in 1 school throughout the academic year once again validating the practices from 2016 with a school blended curriculum 4 days a week to understand the challenges of implementing our practices with school operations. We designed a set of 16 weeks content plans for these four classrooms which was blended with the English Curriculum of the school.

2018

In 2019, we continued working with two schools strengthening documentation of complete curriculum, training program, embracing ground feedback and voices in the modifications, extending partnerships and collaboration.

2020

With 3 other volunteers, we worked with 8 children, who were facing a learning challenge for more than 2 years, throughout the academic year to understand their learning pattern, understand teacher challenges, and involve parents in the learning journey of the children. In this year we designed a basic Phonics and Reading Fluency Curriculum to start with.

2017

2019

In 2018, we worked with 24 classrooms across 2 schools with our NCERT based Unit Plan content and assessments. In this year we worked only with teachers in the classroom supporting them with execution of Content Plans and conducting assessments to understand the story of a child behind the numbers.

In 2020, as the COVID 19 pandemic hit, we continued supporting our two schools with 750+ Google form digital worksheets. We conducted over 44+ digital upskilling for teachers.

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TEAM DEVELOPMENT

Step back - Oct 2019