Online classes offer a break for disabled kids stuck indoors due to coronavirus scare
Many educational centres are turning online to offer classes to children with disabilities following the shutdown due to the coronavirus scare. Evoluer Solutions for instance is using Zoom to ensure its students don’t miss out on sessions as well as reaching out to other kids with disabilities to address specific issues arising out of this situation.
The coronavirus scare has brought life to a virtual standstill for students across India. Schools are shut down and exams postponed indefinitely. For some kids, especially those with disabilities, the change in routine has been disruptive and even been cause for anxiety.
To ensure children with disabilities don’t miss out on their routine and are kept occupied, some learning centres have gone online. Evoluer Solutions which has educational and skilling programmes for children and youth with disabilities, is one of them. For regular students they have daily sessions on Zoom.
We had virtual classes even before the coronavirus scare but not very often. Now we have them every day, so the students don’t miss out on the learning. We started the sessions on Monday when we shut our institute down. There are many children with disabilities stuck at home and technology offers great potential to reach out to them. – Shaloo Sharma, Founder-Director, Evoluer Solutions
Learning & community building together
The Zoom platform is used every morning from 9-12 am to reach out to Evoluer students in Mumbai and Delhi. There are live classes on Facebook as well from 10- 11 am. “Zoom is more systematic and we can use PPTs and whiteboards”, explains Shaloo. “On Facebook we offer free classes”. All you have to do is Like this page. <a
There are sessions ranging from topics like anxiety to friendship skills while the Facebook sessions have students cooking and performing other stimulating activities.
“I learned about boundaries and personal space, scheduling a daily timetable as well as grooming ethics”, said Juzer Merchant, a student with Skill Shakti, Evoluer’s Mumbai partner organisation. “We also got to see a video on Greta Thunberg”. Tanmay, a 19-year-old student in Gurgaon, enjoyed the session on anxiety. ‘I learned useful tips about coping with anxiety”.
Shaloo loves the larger community feeling these sessions are generating. “We have had hundreds of people pouring in with suggestions and some students have given us wonderful ideas. Parents have also shared pictures of what they have done with us”.
Informal classes by parents groups
The Autism Club, Ernakulum too has turned online to engage with the larger community of parents and children with disabilities. Parents in this support group are encouraged to share videos of activities they are doing with their kids at home. These are then posted on the Facebook page for other parents to learn from. “My phone is flooded with videos that parents have shared”, says Sangeetha John, member of the Autism Club, Ernakulam. “There is no certainty when this shutdown will end, and we can go back to our routine, so we are asking parents to share all the activities they are doing”.
This includes activities that are creative as well as the more mundane. “We have videos of parents folding clothes with their kids”, says Anita Pradeep, Advisory Committee Member. Autism club. “Also, activities like cooking and baking. Yesterday, I shared a video of my son Brian playing Scrabble for instance”.
The page is open to all families to view. You can also post your videos here. Click on this page to be a part of this community.
Clearly, the coronavirus scare may have disrupted daily routine but not spirits.
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