School for Mentally retarded

The education and training of these children differs a lot from that of normal children. Their syllabus has to include self-dependence, etiquettes, conversation, everyday activities etc. While chalking out their syllabus their level of I.Q. and behavioural problems have to be considered. Their home environment is also required to be weighed while chalking out the syllabus. Since there is no safe method to teach these children, each child is a class by himself requiring special attention.
 
It is truly a herculean task to inculcate self-independence among the mentally retarded children.

In the pursuit of facing challenge

In view of the gravity and seriousness of mental retardation and the intricacies involved in the methods aimed at dealing with it, a great care and caution has to be exercised while forming the groups of children depending upon their level of I.Q. for the purpose of their education and training. With the active involvement of parents and trained teachers, we plan lessons to be taught to them every week and keep on revising these lessons off and on depending upon the progress of the children and, if necessary, to keep on shifting a child from one group to the other so that he finds the group congenial and education and training meaningful.
 
In order to understand the views of eminent personalities in the field of mental retardation and also with a view to get acclimatised with the results of research conducted by similar schools or organisations, our teachers are deputed to participate in the conferences/seminars/conventions organised by the institutes/government, semi-government and autonomous bodies. Our teachers participate in such seminars, conferences, conventions etc., submit their reports to the trustees and deliberate on new topics/methods learnt by them, among themselves and with the Principal ultimately with a view to amend or revise our methodology in the larger interests of education and training of the mentally retarded. According to Rehabilitation Council of India Act, 1995, the teacher must be trained. To be aware of the new problems & the new discoveries, the teachers have to undergo C.R.E. course & in 5 years, they have to complete 100 points. C.R.E. is conducted in our school with the help of R.C.I. & Jay Vakil school.  Besides, we also organise the conferences, seminars etc., in our own school inviting dignitaries to speak on certain occasions in order that our teachers get an opportunity of exchanging their views with authorities in the field.
 
In order that the parents of mentally retarded children should not consider our school as an escape for them from these children, we grant vacation to the school during summer and Diwali so that the children can stay in the midst of their family for a long time without interruption and nurture the feeling of being very much a part of the family. The mentally retarded children are also deputed to participate in the various tournaments/events organised by government/semi-government and autonomous bodies as well as other social service organisations and schools. The mentally retarded children are afforded an opportunity to present their individual performance and/or group performance in the field of art, acting, dress competitions, drawings, dance competitions, cultural programmes and also outdoor sports events like running etc., or in-door sports like carrom etc., in order to get them exposure to the outside world with a view to inculcating in them the feeling of self-confidence.
 
We have classified our students according to the nature of their mental retardation like mild/moderate/severe mental retardation, down syndrome, epilepsy, cerebral palsy, birth asphyxia, hyperactive etc. and also on the basis of the progress achieved in attending to daily routine activities, etiquettes, conversation, group compatibility etc. We have further classified them according to their requirements of special case/need like speech problem, language problem, therapy, meningitis etc.
 
After students attain the age of 18 years, according to the rules of the government obtaining in this behalf, they are required to be transferred to Sheltered Workshop. While in the school for mentally retarded, we try to take utmost care to ensure that the child after attaining the age of 18 can undertake some gainful activities preferably of the monotonous nature so that they can draw earnings, though marginally. It stands to the credit of the school that five mentally retarded students after leaving the school were in a position to secure petty jobs on their own elsewhere on the recommendation of our school. 

Introspection without a sense of complacency

The trustees of 'ASTITVA' are fully aware that I.Q. level of any mentally retarded child cannot increase even a bit inspite of the voluminous efforts directed towards the end. It has therefore been our constant endeavour to activate his other faculties which may be subtle so that the mentally retarded child can atleast be trained to attend to his day to day activities and make a modest earning lest he is considered a burden on the family and/or the society of which he is very much an integral part.
 
With this broader objective in view, our process of research and development in the field of mental retardation is under way continuously without interruption. We consider each child as a class by himself and a subject for research in mental retardation. We firmly believe based on the results of our research that if one faculty of any individual is dormant, the other faculties are bound to be capable of getting activated to make good the deficit only if we work towards the end with enthusiasm and missionary zeal without the slightest sense of complacency.