by Fr. Edward D'souza sdb
NASHIK-MAHARASHTRA, MAY 29, 2014: When so many political leaders were wooing voters to give them a chance 'to serve the nation better', Prafulta Don Bosco Counseling Centre, Nashik, organized a training programme for teachers on how to teach and serve children with Learning Disability. Reading out 'On Children' by Khalil Gibran, Fr.Tony D'souza, SDB, inaugurated the programme, which was conducted from, May 2-15, 2014, and was attended by twenty participants (mainly primary school teachers, school counselors and parents).
For twelve days, a team of experienced Special Educators taught on, 'how to teach students diagnosed with Learning Disability'. These weak and "most misunderstood" students were noted to be endowed with IQs ranging from average to superior intelligence. Stating the fact that ten per cent of the population suffer from this disability, the Director of Prafulta, Fr. Edward D'souza, SDB, pointed out to the participants a sizeable number of such students' presence in their own schools. To facilitate this training, participants were made to dissect various English and Mathematical topics into different components. This was followed by meticulously prepared lesson plans that were executed on fellow trainees under the critical watch of the specialized trainers. The trainees acknowledged the reflections because the same would help them later to handle LD children more efficiently.
On behalf of the participants, V.P. Jayashree of Boys Town, expressed her gratitude to the resource person, Mrs. Kala D'Mello and stated, "Never before were we corrected like this till we got it all right". During the sessions, Mr Avishkar, the clinical psychologist from Ashoka Universal School, claimed to get his 'eureka moment' which took him from 'Why' of the Learning Disability to the 'How', to teach these vulnerable students. Mrs Jayanthi Vishwanathan, Head of V-Excel, Nashik and Mrs Hema Masani, Educational Consultant, Nashik, complimented Prafulta Don Bosco Counselling Center, for organizing such a programme in a city not considered in the same league with either Mumbai or Pune. Attendees at the training received certificates of participation from the chief guest: Fr. Felix Fernandes, SDB. In their endeavor to teach/serve the learning disabled, they shared the scope of Don Bosco Society's work for the young 'at risk'. "With the arrival of Prafulta-Don Bosco Counseling Centre at Don Bosco Nashik, the Learning Disabled can now move forward with hope", anticipated Fr. Felix Fernandes.