October 2018 | Issue No. 3
ORGANIZATIONAL UPDATE | BY SUSHMITA SINGH
“Disability is a Matter of Perception.”
It was a bright sunny afternoon when three enthusiastic kids, Khalid, Irene and Lamha accompanied by their teacher Ranjhini Ma’am arrived first to Shama School and then to Republic School all the way from Riverside School to invite the kids and teachers to a photo exhibition by Bindi Seth that covered the lives of Prabhat Academy Children.
Prabhat Education Foundation is an NGO working in Ahmedabad last 15 years to provide learning and growth opportunities for children and youth, challenged by mental, physical and learning difficulties.
The kids first got a chance to look at the pictures and interact with people from Prabhat, the special educators, volunteers and the photographer Ms. Bindi Seth.
“Which was one of your most difficult pictures?” “ Why are these pictures in black and white?” Pointing to a picture, One of the girls of Shama School asked, “ Is there a hidden meaning to these pictures?” Some questions were answered, others the kid took back to explore, ponder and understand better.
The kids also got a chance to interact and play with the kids of Prabhat Foundation and learned more about the Buddy System that Riverside school follows by being a part of that process. The kids together did origami, played games and had conversations with both Riverside kids about their experiences and Prabhat Foundation Children. The kids drew the connection to disabled kids that are there in their community. They understood the idea of working with Empathy and Gratitude. They weren’t scared anymore, the stigma had broken, they seemed comfortable and in a mode to receive every bit of information that they could gather in that room.
As the day came to an end, after all the interactions, the kids got into a very reflective mode during their debrief sessions taken by their teacher. They didn’t just understand that discrimination based on disability exists in the society but also identified various other forms of inequality that exists and some even went as far as finding out solutions to make their classrooms inclusive.
“Inclusive education is about embracing all, making a commitment to do whatever it takes to provide each student in the community—and each citizen in a democracy—an inalienable right to belong, not to be excluded”.
Kids have a simple way of understanding complex problems. They are not scared of obstacles or challenges. They just move undeterred once they want to achieve their goal. The kids who were a part of this exhibition from both the schools have already begun the process of spreading awareness by taking sessions of their classmates and sharing their experiences.
The process of making a community that is acceptable in all ways has been triggered. The goal is to make every classroom, every school and every society inclusive and embracing.
Naheeda studies in grade 3 in Shama School. She enjoys the Sight words strand of English the most because baji teaches it through Total Physical Response and it helps her to remember most of the sight words and their meanings.
She loves to demonstrate the sandwich method of learning sight words (Eng-Hindi-Eng) in class for all her other classmates.
Sanya Ma'am teaches English in Grade 1 in Republic School. Her favorite part during the English class is Speaking and Listening. She researches the topic well so that she can help all her kids to speak better.
She likes this part the most because it gives her a chance to interact with all her kids and understand their perspectives while being able to encourage English communication in the classroom.