Learning Compassion-A Trip to SCINOSA Day Care Home

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Class IX visited SCINOSA Day Home which is a school for children with special needs. The children were eager to learn more practical aspects of Special education after reading a lesson about Helen Keller, which is a part of their syllabus.

When children reached the school, they were amazed to see the purpose-built infrastructure. The teachers of SCINOSA greeted the group warmly. The tour started with a little discussion about the purpose of the visit. One of the students, Sakina Shabbir of Class IX A promptly replied that they wanted to learn more about people who have more challenging lives than them.

 

Firstly, the group was taken to academic classes where students, out of their curiosity, asked a number of questions. The teacher satisfied the students by briefing them about the individualized curriculum and planning for each child that they do. The time table for each day was also shared with the students. Then, the students were taken to rooms serving different purposes. These rooms include a speech therapy room where certified speech therapists were working with some children in order to make their speech clearer. There was another room which was specifically made to improve the motor skills of these special children.

 

Students were surprised to see special children making show pieces, frames and other things out of newspaper in the recycling room. Khaddar room was another jolt to the students where they saw a senior special student working expertly with the khaddar machine, making cloth. All were rendered speechless. In the arts and crafts room, some special children were busy with embroidery while some were engrossed in khaatli work. Then came the turn of the fine arts room where master pieces made by the special children were on display. Our students were tongue-tied. The teacher of SCINOSA showed the students a mural which was painted by the special children.

 

There were rooms for teaching cane work, jewelry making, bead work, and wood work. Students were surprised to see each room packed with special learners. One of the students inquired about the reason of teaching these skills to special children, to which, the teacher replied that they believe in facilitating each child of the school to become a functioning member of the society. These skills support the children in advocating for themselves in all practical life settings.

 

Students were also taken to a gym where special children are encouraged to do physical activity in order to regulate their weight. A special child, in the gym, greeted each student individually. This was the way he showed his excitement upon seeing visitors. Another special child, Zain, pointed to the watch reminding his coach that it was time for milk. These children are provided with milk and other healthy food, according to their individual diet plan made by the school. Students were also taken to hydrotherapy room where luke warm water is used as a remedy to soothe and relax special children.

 

Culinary art is also a part of their need based curriculum. Rida, who was busy practicing how to make tea, along with another child, who was making an omelet, demonstrated to the students their particular method. Grooming class was the last spot of the school where special girls were taught how to take care of themselves. In the end, students of BHS thanked the vice principal of SCINOSA Day, who specially came in the lunch room to meet them. The Principal talked about the initiative that the school has taken. The students asked her a bunch of questions, which she answered.

 

This was indeed a special trip. A major objective of this trip was to encourage students to show empathy towards children with special needs. They were deeply moved after the trip. This trip was an attempt to open up a new window to the students as Sydney Harris has rightly said that the whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows.

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