Orchid School in Pune provides an enabling environment for children of all needs
In our final story in the Inclusive Schools series, we look at Pune's Orchid School, where the belief is that given the right opportunity and a productive, enabling environment, all children can learn. And in this spirit, the school has an inclusive approach, not just towards children with special needs, but also children from poor economic backgrounds.
"The basic philosophy of the Orchid School is inclusive", says Namrata Majhail, Principal, The Orchid School. "We believe that children must get an exposure to all situations and people understand that inclusion is the only way to progress in society. Children have to be sensitised to the fact that they need to look after others."
This has been the school's approach since it was set up 14 years ago. There are children here with learning disabilities as well as mobility challenges. Every level has three sections and children with disabilities are taught along with everyone else. "This way each child is made aware of the need to look after each other", says Majhail. There are regular orientations held to sensitise the children.
To ensure that children with physical disabilities have easy access, ramps and lifts have been set up across the campus. Even the evacuation plan in the event of an emergency has been framed keeping in mind the needs of children with disabilities. Care is taken to think of every situation where their needs are met with, says Majhail.
There are three special educators and four counsellors on board. New special educators shadow the senior teachers before they are given responsibility for a class.
"Many schools tend to see children with disabilities as an added responsibility", says Majhail. "We prefer seeing them as an asset because they help build greater awareness and empathy, not just among the students but also the parents".
To view the other schools which were part of the Inclusive Schools series, click below:
APL Global School, Chennai
St Mary's , Delhi
Riverside , Ahmedabad
Gamru Village School,Himachal Pradesh
The Heritage School Kolkata
Nankana Sahib Public SchoolLudhiana