Special education set to get a boost with DRAG’s new initiative

Special educators join hands to collaborate with universities

Special educators from across Goa, who work with differently-abled persons, have come together under the aegis of a newly formed organisation, Special Educators Association of Goa, a body that will be affiliated to the All India Special Educators’ Association.

Liby Mendoca, president of the newly formed association, said that among several objectives, the association will collaborate with universities recognised by University Grants Commission and the Rehabilitation Council of India to open study centres for special education/psychology/guidance and counselling courses.

The initiative has been taken by Disability Rights Association of Goa (DRAG), a body that spearheads the cause of disabled persons, and is led by Avelino de Sa. In the presence of Goa Commissioner for Disabilities Anuradha Joshi, around 60 special educators from Goa joined the organisation over the weekend.

“Another idea put forward by DRAG has turned into reality. This is a great day for the disability sector in Goa,” said Avelino Dsa, president of DRAG. There are twenty such schools and many others have special teachers, he said.

Goa has around 400 special educators working with persons with disabilities such as hearing impairment, visual impairment, intellectual disability, etc.

Regular training

“The initiative is to bring all special educators in Goa on one platform. The organisation will primarily look into the grievances of special educators in Goa. In addition, efforts will be made to offer regular training to them to continuously upgrade their skill set,” said Amelia Vaidya of DRAG.

Special educators in Goa need to get due representation and recognition in the education sector on par with mainstream teachers, feels Ms Mendonca. Gisele Lobo has taken over as secretary.

Ms Joshi advised teachers to bridge the gap between parents and educators, by making home visits and building a rapport with parents of disabled persons.

As for the various issues related to this sector, particularly concerning the education of such persons, the State Commissioner said the government must think in an out-of-the-box manner.

According to DRAG’s informal statistics, Goa has a population of slightly over 30,000 persons with disabilities.