Thursday, November 26, 2009

BIS #1653 WORKSHOP ON LEARNING DISABILITY


Natasha Almeida
MUMBAI, NOVEMBER 26, 2009: Headmasters of 32 schools participated in a workshop on “Learning Disability” organized by Don Bosco High School, Matunga on November 24, 2009. The workshop was initiated by Fr. Bosco D’Mello, Principal of Don Bosco and Mr. Rai, facilitator in the school. The resource people for the day were the team from Prafulta Psychological Services consisting of Fr. Godfrey D’Sa, Director of Prafulta and Ms. Mimansa Popat, Special educator and Counsellor. The workshop was also graced by Mr. V. K. Wankhade, Deputy Director of Education and Mr. R. R Bhise, Education Inspector of North Zone.


The Chief Guest, Mr. R. R. Bhise lit the lamp together with Fr. Bosco. In his inaugural address, Fr. Bosco D’Mello highlighted the achievements of Don Bosco High School as an institution. He stated an established fact that 10% of students have Learning Disability which could be in the mild, moderate or severe form. Fr. Godfrey D’Sa delivering the key note address spoke about ‘The importance of dealing with Learning Disabilities’. He focused on how and why we should make our education system broader and inclusive for those children with Learning Disability. “We need to make our education more inclusive and not for class distinction and no way for a child to end up hating school and learning”, he added. He observed that the current system stresses mainly on Verbal/ Linguistic Intelligence and Mathematical Intelligence and therefore a child or person with Learning Disability is destined for failure.

Ms. Mimansa Popat, who has 20 years of experience in this field and is a Special Educator, Consultant and Counselor at Prafulta explained the types of learning difficulty children experience, the effects of such difficulties on their esteem, emotions and behavior; and available interventions. An interactive session followed soon after in which Mr. V. K. Wankhade suggested to have training programmes for teachers and parents at the ward level.


Participants appreciated the workshop for creating awareness of the relevant issue of Learning Disability among children. The workshop ended on a genuine realization that unless there is a concerted effort from parents, educators, and counselors we will not see a change.

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