Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Professional expertise in special education

Professional expertise in special education

These courses are aimed at imparting skills in teaching and rehabilitating children who have special needs.

The Faculty of Disability Management and Special Education of Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda University (RKMVU) at Perianaickenpalayam, Coimbatore, offers courses in special education for candidates who aspire to acquire skills in teaching and rehabilitating children with visual impairment, hearing impairment and mental disability.

The faculty offers courses from the diploma level to the doctorate level. Candidates who have completed the higher secondary course or graduate and postgraduate degrees can join the courses.

According to a release from Honorary Dean M. Chandramani, children with disability should be included in the purview of education.

“One of the problems our country faces now is the dearth of trained teachers to teach children with special needs. It has been estimated that nearly 5 - 10 per cent of the Indian population is suffering from some type of disability and need the services of special teachers and rehabilitation professionals. The country has only 180 teacher-training institutions that prepare teachers for children with special needs. The report of the X Planning Commission says that the number of trained teachers required by the country is 7, 24,600. It may take another 10 - 20 years to fulfil the target.”

To train teachers to take up the work of educating children with special needs, the Faculty offers the following courses in Special Education: Ph.D., B.Ed. and M.Ed. (Visual Impairment), B.Ed. and M.Ed. (Hearing Impairment), B.Ed. and M.Ed. (Mental Retardation).

Two-year diploma courses are also available in the three subjects. There is a one-year diploma course in sign language.

In addition, some service-oriented departments are available that serve as laboratories for teacher-trainees for hands-on experience. They are Braille-book production unit, Braille appliances unit, talking-books recording unit, rehabilitation unit, Department of Prosthetics, Department of Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy, play therapy unit for mentally retarded children, sign language unit, audiology and speech therapy unit and Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan.

Spoken English, spoken Hindi, Yoga, adapted physical education, arts and crafts are offered as add-on courses.

Candidates who successfully complete the course can register their names in the Central Rehabilitation Register as Rehabilitation Professionals.

Their services are needed in special schools, integrated schools, inclusive set-ups, hospitals and non-governmental organisations. Campus interviews are also arranged.

Issue of applications has begun. Last date for receipt of completed application is June 30. Applications can be obtained in person or by post.

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