Art of self control and understanding of a human mind and heart are the mantras for a teacher of special children.
CHILDREN with disabilities are so special that a person working for them has to have a mind which can understand and comprehend situations as well as people. “The job is not easy. People need to have the art of being patient, good presence of mind, compassion and commitment to duty,” says Aparna Babu who is working with children with special needs for many years now.
Any 10+2 student, irrespective of what stream he had in senior secondary can pursue a course in this field. There are degree, diploma and certificate courses available in various colleges in the country recognized by the Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI). An aspirant can choose to study to work for visually impaired, hearing impaired and/or mentally retarded persons. There are specialized degree programmes available in the fields of Locomotor and Cerebral Palsy, Autism, Vocational Counselling, and care giving.
These programmes train students for a whole range of services for children with disabilities. Special schools are on a rise in the country along with major non-governmental organizations (NGOs) who are concentrating their energies and resources to set up help in this particular avenue. “As per the new Inclusive Education paradigm, all the children would be in the same class, studying together irrespective of abilities. Therefore, special teachers, facilitators and guides with this degree are required for this endeavour,” Aparna explains.
As far as the salary structure is concerned, the package may not be that high. As a teacher one can receive what the teachers receive according to the 6th Pay Commission as per the grade whereas counsellors receive more. If we were to give a starting range, one could begin between Rs. 9000 to Rs. 15000 depending on the profile.
The task is challenging because people in this field need to have the art of self control and knowledge and understanding of a human mind and heart. A person needs to be mature enough to deal with any situation, especially the unexpected ones. So though a 10+2 student can look forward to a career in special education, he or she should have a detailed study of how to understand and empathise with special children. “A developed, mature understanding and a strong sense of mind is the need more than age. So if a student of 17 had the passion to work in this field, I would just say, come on board to build our society,” Aparna stresses.
For this reason, a little extra knowledge in terms of higher studies is also advisable. Moreover, there is growth in position in any particular organisation on the basis of the educational qualification. But the amount of satisfaction attained is incomparable.