A spe­cial op­por­tu­nity

Manovikas-ignou Com­mu­nity Col­lege helps spe­cial chil­dren take a step closer to main­stream ed­u­ca­tion

Hindustan Times (Delhi) - HT Education - - Front Page - Gauri Kohli

Gyan, a men­tally-chal­lenged stu­dent, com­pleted a hos­pi­tal­ity train­ing pro­gramme re­cently from Manovikas-Ignou Com­mu­nity Col­lege (MCC). Recog­nis­ing his prior in­ter­est in the kitchen, he was en­rolled with a hos­pi­tal­ity train­ing pro­gramme at MCC. Now, he has landed a job with the food chain, Haldirams. The six­month train­ing at MCC changed his life and helped him over­come lim­i­ta­tions in ar­eas such as de­ci­sion-mak­ing and func­tional writ­ing... and get a univer­sity cer­tifi­cate and a salary of R6500 per month.

MCC of­fers higher and vocational ed­u­ca­tion to chil­dren with in­tel­lec­tual and devel­op­men­tal prob­lems.

Sh­wetha Taing, who is also men­tally-chal­lenged and has be­havioural prob­lems, got great sup­port from her par­ents and MCC. Taing’s mother Vi­jaya gave up her lec­turer’s job in Gwalior soon af­ter she fin­ished playschool so as to de­vote more time to her ex­pe­ri­en­tial ed­u­ca­tion, homeschool­ing her through­out. The fam­ily later moved base to Delhi. Vi­jaya be­lieves that while par­ents may go through many mo­ments of self-doubt nur­tur­ing spe­cial kids, they must per­sist and be sup­port­ive. “It was tough dur­ing those years but I home tu­tored Sh­wetha. A for­mal ed­u­ca­tion is not the only way or guar­an­tee that the child will suc­ceed. There needs to be en­vi­ron­men­tal ed­u­ca­tion, prac­ti­cal tasks that they should be taught, life skills, aware­ness of their sur­round­ings and, most of all, con­fi­dence build­ing. Sadly, many par­ents don’t look at their child’s spe­cial needs in a pos­i­tive light,” she says.

Af­ter her daugh­ter at­tended classes at MCC, she had a peer group about whom she could talk af­ter coming back home. “She had be­havioural prob­lems, but af­ter go­ing to col­lege, I have seen im­mense change is her be­hav­iour and my daugh­ter is more con­fi­dent to­day,” says Vi­jaya.

USP: MCC is a one of its kind in­sti­tu­tion in In­dia which pro­vides tran­si­tion from spe­cial school or gen­eral prior learn­ing to main­stream higher ed­u­ca­tion. Ac­cord­ing to Alok Bhuwan, founder and man­ag­ing sec­re­tary of MCC, “It is im­por­tant for peo­ple with in­tel­lec­tual dis­abil­i­ties to have a voice of their own. We help them over­come their short­com­ings so that they can be­come more con­fi­dent and in­de­pen­dent.”

Fac­ulty: The col­lege has 23 res­i­dent fac­ulty mem­bers and ex­perts for the spe­cial chil­dren.

Pro­grammes: MCC of­fers cour­ses in three broad cat­e­gories- as­so­ciate de­gree pro­grammes, diplo­mas and cer- tifi­cate cour­ses. Af­ter com­plet­ing the as­so­ciate de­gree pro­grammes, the stu­dents can en­rol di­rectly in the third year of any de­gree pro­gramme for an hon­ours course. The four cer­tifi­cate pro­grammes are ca­reer-spe­cific for the tar­get group - ba­sic busi­ness skills, re­tail as­sis­tant, hos­pi­tal­ity train­ing and of­fice at­ten­dant. The pro­grammes are also of­fered for pro­fes­sion­als work­ing with peo­ple with dis­abil­ity. In ad­di­tion to th­ese, pro­grammes in soft skills and in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy have also been in­tro­duced. The IT course pro­vides skills in writ­ing, edit­ing and print­ing doc­u­ments us­ing MS-Word and Excel, us­ing the In­ter­net and email. An abil­ity en­hance­ment mul­ti­me­dia pro­gramme has also been in­tro­duced re­cently.

IT quo­tient and in­fra­struc­ture: MCC has a good and healthy en­vi­ron­ment. The col­lege pro­vides fa­cil­i­ties for speech and oc­cu­pa­tional ther­apy. It has a speech ther­apy room, a multi-sen­sory room, class­rooms and a train­ing lab­o­ra­tory.

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