Govindaraju, Director, Department for the Empowerment of Differently-Abled and Senior Citizens, has said that the State government will recognise the six-month diploma course on vocational skills for trainers of mentally challenged.

The Karnataka State Association of Special Educators have been demanding recognition for the six-month diploma course run by the unit of Centre for Continuing Technical Education in Karnataka of the Department of Technical Education in Government Women’s Polytechnic at the Saanidhya Residential School. This course is meant to enable trainers with skills that help them to provide mentally and physically challenged children vocational skills.

Though two batches of trainers have passed out, this course was yet to be recognised by the State government. The Government Women’s Polytechnic’s principal B.N. Kumbar said that there had been no response from the Department for Empowerment of Differently-Abled to his letter written in June 2015 in this regard.

Mr. Govindaraju has claimed that the department has initiated the process of recognising this course. The department would lay down, among others, the qualification, infrastructure, fee and vocational skills for the course. “I have initiated discussions with stakeholders. The government is committed to recognising this course,” he said.

Administrator of Saanidhya Residential School Vasanth Kumar Shetty said the diploma course for the trainers had been designed on the curriculum of National Institute of Mentally Handicapped in Hyderabad. So far as many as 44 persons have completed the course so far.

Candidates, who have completed the course, said the course had brought change in the way they take care of children. “All the while, we only took care of these children’s day-to-day needs. Now we can teach them candle making, envelope making and other skills that makes children self reliant. This is much needed for these children,” said S.M. Kallimath, a teacher associated with the Bapuji Residential School of Mentally Challenged Children in Gajendragad for over 20 years.

Mr. Kallimath and 21 other candidates on Wednesday received certificates for completing the course in December 2015.

Source : The Hindu , 25th Feb 2016