Mumbai: Special needs students show off their science skills

As part of the National Science Day celebrations, the education department organised a science exhibition for intellectually disabled children who have been studying in the civic body’s special schools

The education department of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) decided to celebrate this year’s National Science Day (February 28) by commemorating the golden anniversary of 18 special schools in the city. Officials organised a science exhibition in Matunga for intellectually disabled children studying in their schools.

Intellectually disabled students, between the ages of five and 18, presented various models at the exhibition
Intellectually disabled students, between the ages of five and 18, presented various models at the exhibition

Around 800 intellectually disabled kids, between the ages of 5 and 18, are currently getting education in these 18 schools. The BMC decided to give the kids a platform to showcase their interest in science and broaden their horizons. “This is the first time, we have organised a science exhibition for special kids.

Since all the students are imparted education under the regular curriculum, we believe that an exposure like this will help them understand the subject better,” said Gargi Mhatre, the school inspector of special schools. The three-day exhibition started from February 26 at the Curiosity Centre in City of Los Angeles BMC School in Matunga.

Around 20 groups of five students each took part in the exhibition and highlighted the use of science in issues like global warming, recycling, health and nutrition, etc. “Every group was assigned a teacher who helped them build the project on their topic, and also guided them how to effectively explain their model on the day of the exhibition.

It took us eight days,” said Prabhavati Konda, a special educator at Sodawala Lane English School, Borivli. The civic body also roped in Swati Bedekar, from the NGO Discovery Science in Vadodara, who is also a national curriculum consultant, to help teach the kids the amazing aspects of science in a fun and interesting manner.

“I have worked in many states, but this is the first time I have come across such an initiative by the education department. The enthusiasm of these kids is commendable. I have never seen anything like it,” Bedekar said. The BMC had set up special schools in 1965, which follow the education policies, but adapt them according to the requirements of its students.

Vinod Shelar, education committee chairman of the BMC said, “For the last 50 years, the BMC has been running these schools under the regular education board, as compared to the state government that runs special schools under the social justice department. This exhibition has proved that special kids are also inclined towards science, just like any other children. Their sense of curiosity makes them eager to keep learning more.”

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