Kerala, God’s own country is known for its natural beauty, tourism and 100% literacy rate. The state has achieved a human development index comparable to that of developed countries only because the state has given high priority to education since the very beginning. The Education Department plays an eminent role in the physical and mental development of students of all ages and capabilities. The guiding principle of the Department is the idea that inclusive education is the key to inclusive development in a society. The department has already taken several steps to improve access, equity, quality and social justice both in schools and in colleges; Government as well as in the private sector.
1. St. John of God Centre, Velloor
The special school at Velloor, Kottayam was started in 1998 for the support and training of children and young adults with learning or intellectual disabilities. The aim of the Centre is to promote the well being and rehabilitation of the mentally challenged, creating awareness in society and among families and train them to live independently. They also have a college for special education where available courses are B.Ed in MR and D.Ed in MR & ASD. The Centre offers a residential option for students. There are seven hostels located in the facility. Maria Home offers residential placement for girls and young women. Angel Home cares for young boys who attend the school. Richard Home is for boys above eighteen, Donatus Home for boys between 12 and 18 and Menni Home for boys who can live independently.
2. Snehanilayam Special School, Ernakulam
Snehanilayam Special School is the first special school in Ernakulam District and 3rd in the State of Kerala. It was started in 1977 and is a charitable organization registered under the Societies Registration Act XII, 1955. Currently, there are 32 staff members taking care of 125 intellectually disabled students studying in the pre- primary, primary, secondary, pre-vocational and vocational units of the school. After due assessment, children with requisite ability are specially trained to appear for public exams of National Open School (NOS) syllabus for normal children. A speech therapy room, physio- occupational therapy room, sensory integration room, computer lab have being provided to the children for their development. Extracurricular activities such as arts and crafts, music therapy, dance, band, mind- body exercises, yoga, sports, etc are also given equal importance. The children take part in inter-school competitions and have also taken part in Special Olympics at national, state and zonal level. They are regular meetings between parents, class teacher and Principal. The Vocational Training Unit started on a small scale in 1991 and has now become a full fledged unit with 30 young adults including male and female working in this unit. The main skill imparted is light carpentry. The main products are educational materials, wall decorations and gift items. The other two parts of this unit are Home Science and Home Management in which they make income generating products, such as pickles, juice, liquid soap, disinfectant etc.
3. St . Joseph’s Special School, Thrissur
Envisioned and established by the Sisters of Mount Calvary in 1997, St. Joseph's Special School, Thrissur is a co-ed special school with boarding facility for girls. The school aims to impart training to mentally challenged children with a view to enable them to live self-sufficiently. Extra curricular activities like dance, music, sports, drawing, arts etc are provided to develop their talent. They have a day school functioning as a special school where numerous therapies are provided as per the requirement of the child. Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, Speech Therapy etc are a few. Vocational training is also provided to make them financially independent.
4. Asadeepam Rehabilitation Special School, Kochi
Asadeepam, Kochi was established in 1993 under Santhimargam Social Welfare Service Society, a non profitable charitable organization run by special teachers, parents and well-wishers of disabled persons. They focus on short term and long term residential care, respite care and day care for mild to severe mentally challenged and autistic persons. The task of Asadeepam is to create special conditions in which people with disabilities can learn to live with their limitations rather than suffer from them and to discover, develop and realize their abilities to the fullest extent. The special education care and protection for the mentally challenged involve community participation and contributions. The school has its own hostel at Kalamassery, Kerala. They provide training, education, care and protection for 60 mentally challenged persons. Children are given different types of training programs and therapies such as special education, IEP, behaviour modifications, computer education, vocational training, speech/horticulture/occupational therapy, PT etc. to discover and enhance their skills.
5. Vimala Hridaya Special School, Kollam
Vimala Hridaya Special School is an educational institution for special needs kids and is located at Kollam. It is guided and managed by the Immaculate Heart of Mary Charitable Organisation. They focus on enhancing the sensory motor development, language development, social skills, psychological skills and job-oriented skills of these children to make them self-sufficient. Sports and games are given equal importance to enhance their physical capabilities. Each class is handled by a group of qualified teachers. The services of the outstanding specialists in therapy, psychology, psychiatry, social work, art, sports etc. have shown substantial results for the school. The management caters to the needs and education of 27 students for free where they are provided them uniform, books and study material.
6. Kripalaya Special School, Wayanad
Kripalaya Special School, Wayanad was founded in 2001 with just 8 children who needed intervention for mental retardation and autism. The school is under the patronage of the Sisters of the Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. The School has now 92 children enrolled in various years of vocational, educational and rehabilitation programs. Well equipped academic infrastructure, vocational training centre, various other extracurricular activities that equip these children for developing their talents and a mainstream adaptation is organised under the guidance of qualified teachers and a neatly worked out academic curriculum keeping the known standards of education. Kripalaya Special School was also honoured as the best Special School in 2010 at state level. They mainly focus on behavioral modification of the students to achieve desired results. The school offers guidance and counselling service for students, parents and teachers. Various remedial, instructional procedures are used to improve the overall quality of performances. Therapeutic programmes are made available for improving their postures and movements. Vocational Training is also given to make lotion, greeting cards, paper bags, paper plates, paper glass, bouquets and book binding.
7. Asha Bhavan, MT Care Centre, Thiruvalla
Mar Thoma Care Centre, Thiruvalla is an institution for physically challenged children founded in 1981 by the Mar Thoma Church of Pathanapuram Centre. Initially it was only a center which provided vocational training like book binding that helped disabled people to lead a self-sufficient life. Later in 1990 it took a new form and shape for the holistic development of the physically challenged children through the establishment of Asha Bhavan. It was established with an insight of integral growth and development of physically challenged children from poor socioeconomic backgrounds. The main objective of Asha Home is to identify and develop talents and creativity by providing free accommodation, food, education, spiritual enrichment and medical care irrespective of religion, caste and creed. It provides physiotherapy and speech therapy and vocational training for computer, fashion designing, paper bag making etc. for the betterment of differently abled individuals.
8. Pratheeksha Special School, Kozhikode
Pratheeksha Special School was founded in the year 1998, at the heart of Mukkam town in Kozhikode that is run by OHWA. Pratheeksha Special School has now become the only training center in Kunnamangalam Block Panchayath that gives vocational training to differently abled children. The school is driven by the will and motivation of parents, social workers, academicians and people around. Pratheeksha Special School was established successfully with 22 children and 2 trainers. They provide everything necessary for both the academic and non-academic needs of every child and nurture them with utmost love and care. The ardent support of local people and well-wishers has been vital in the running of this school in the past years. The management adheres to their strict values of secularism, equality, and forwardness that guided them to create better standards of infrastructure, food, equipment and training along with the all-around development of the whole institution.
9. Janey Centre, Ernakulam
Janey Centre, Eroor Ernakulam is a charitable society registered under the Travancore-Cochin Literary Act XII of 1995. It is a day school catering to nearly 70 differently abled persons. The centre owns a property with a building and a bus to transport children. Assessment of each child is done at the time of admission by a panel of doctors, physiotherapist, speech therapist, psychologist and counsellors. Training sessions are given to improve their activities of daily living, daily basic skills, communication and academics. Therapies like physiotherapy, speech and occupational therapy, counselling and one to one training is part of the curriculum to benefit the students. Apart from academics, training is also given to make medicinal covers, candles, greeting cards to supply to hospitals. Profit out of selling these items is distributed among children so as to create a sense of self respect. The school follows the NIOS curriculum for those who are able to pursue studies.
10. KRIPA Special School, Kalamassery
Kerala Rehabilitation Institute for the Physically Affected (KRIPA) Special School for the physically challenged children, Kalamassery started functioning at KRIPA charitable organisation from 16th July 2012. It was because of the continuous requests from the parents of mentally challenged children, KRIPA started a special school. They assess each student and plan programme for their future life in association with their parents, siblings, close relatives, etc. They first form an Individualized Education Plan considering the strengths and weaknesses of each child and simultaneously the parents are educated on how to rear their children. The school started with 10 students and currently they have 40 students studying in the premises.
11. Snehabhavan, Kottayam
Snehabhavan - Home of Love was founded by late Rev. Fr. Joseph Kannampuzha SJ in 1990. Snehabhavan started a Special School for the Mentally Challenged in Kottayam in 1993. Presently the strength of the school is 68. The children are trained by 9 trained teachers and 8 non-teaching staff. The objective of the school is to equip the children to lead a fruitful life in the society as far as possible. The school is functioning in two premises. The Junior Section is functioning at Gandhinagar, Kottayam Municipality and the Senior Section at Aymanam Gramapanchayat. The school provides services like scientific training, physiotherapy, speech therapy, dance and music training, sports and games, vocational training for the upliftment of its students. The school has regular PTMs to gauge progress of child.
12. Asha Nilayam, Ponkunnam
Asha Nilayam is a training and rehabilitation centre which offers new hope to the mentally retarded. Asha Nilayam is a special school for the mentally challenged children and it started functioning in the year 1979 at Ponkunnam, Kottayam. At present 94 students are taught at the school with the help of 16 staff members. Children are trained to get accustomed with the environment from the age of five itself. Vocational training is also provided where they learn soap, candles, flowers, paper bag making and other activities like vegetable & flower gardening, cooking, tailoring are also provided at the center. More than 500 children have already received such training which conferred on them the competence and employability to survive in the outside world. Apart from the normal academic training, special facilities are offered to the students like training in yoga, drama & music, sports & games, home management etc. Regular study tours are conducted for the students and counselling and medical facilities are also provided. The institution meets its daily expenses with the help of Grant-in-aid from Central Govt.
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