New, affordable school for determined ones in Sharjah
Sharjah - Centre has been set up especially for parents who cannot afford to pay the fees for their differently-abled children.
A new 'affordable' centre for determined students is all set to open in Sharjah's Al Samnan Area. Located near Wanderers Club, trustees of the not-for-profit centre will be managed under the guidance of the Indian Association in Sharjah.
Al Ibtisama Centre for People for Disabilities will officially open on September 9 Monday, 9 am. The school management said the centre has been set up especially for parents who cannot afford to pay the fees for their differently-abled children. "It's half the price of what parents have to pay in other bigger centres," said EP Johnson, president of Sharjah Indian Association.
The centre can accommodate up to 60 students, and it has already received registrations for 115 students. Students from ages 3 to 18 can apply to the centre. "They will graduate only when they are career-ready," added Johnson. The students will be provided therapy for intellectual disabilities, autism, cerebral palsy and multiple disability students.
"The curriculum has been designed as per guidelines set by the National Institute for Empowering Persons with Intellectual Disability, Government of India. The students will be categorised as per the functional assessment checklist programming provided by them," Dr Jayanarayanan N, the school principal told Khaleej Times.
He said students will be categorised into pre-primary, primary, secondary, and pre-vocational categories. "Depending on the demand, we are looking to launch a bigger facility for the kids."
Jayanarayanan N said the monthly fees are at Dh 2,500 per month, including transportation. "Classes will be held from 8.30am to 12.30pm. But since we are getting more enquiries, we are thinking of working in shifts."
"The centre has three classrooms, several offices, a playground, a canteen, a flower garden, and a small agriculture patch. There is a special room for therapy and all the therapists have been trained and recruited from India," said Johnson.
The institute aims to set up an Early Intervention Centre for early detection and correction of future disabilities, a vocational training centre for employers to provide vocational training, and various courses to provide specialized training in this area.
"In a class for eight students, there will be a teacher, an assistant teacher, a nanny, and a helper. The physiotherapy room has been specially made to suit the child's needs. "We are also planning counselling and training for parents," explained Johnson.
Counselling for parents
Psychotherapy, physiotherapy, speech therapy, and occupational therapy will be provided to the students, along with yoga and art workshops. Johnson also said the school has received immense support from Sharjah government authorities for this project.
"There are so many parents who earn a salary of Dh5,000. They cannot afford fancy schools for their kids. I've come across cases where they tie the child to a room and leave for work. So, this centre will come has a great relief for those desperately seeking it," added Johnson.
The 18-member governing body of the Indian Association, headed by EP Johnson, president; Abdullah Mallassery, general secretary and; Balakrishnan, treasurer; helped to set up the organisation, which is another golden feather in the Indian Association's growth spanning 40 years.