Laying the emphasis on the learning requirements of the children with special needs, NCERT has designed a "pioneering" reading material in the form of booklet and has released the print material under the name 'Barkhaa series'- a supplementary 'Graded Reading Series'. The series has been developed by the Department of Elementary Education at the NCERT.
Talking about the Barkhaa Series, the Director of the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) Hrushikesh Senapaty said " This project has been started on a pilot basis and keeping all the principles of universal design for learning in mind."
About the booklets
- Each book is equipped with the Braille and other tactile components which will help in catering the needs of the children with learning disability, speech or language disorder, visual impairment, autism, attention deficit, hyperactivity disorder and cerebral palsy, among other disabilities.
- The series is a pedagogic tool whose purpose is to help the children in learning at the foundation level.
- There are 40 illustrated stories across the five themes such as relationships, birds-animals, musical instruments, games and toys, around us and food. There are also four different reading levels in the book.
"Our motto is one book for all. We do not want to label children and these books are a baby step in the direction of having real inclusive classrooms, where children share the same space and same books, without feeling insecure or discriminated against," Anupam Ahuja of the Department of Education of Groups with Special Needs at the NCERT said.
Equal treatment for all the students
"We need to accept diversity and treat all children in the same way. Keeping a few children in separate classrooms, just because they have separate traits, is not the way forward," Ahuja said.
When the question was asked about the availability fo the NCERT text books director said "14 states and union territories have borrowed rights to publish and print books from us. States like Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand have also shown interest in doing so. There is no shortage of textbooks. Also, we target to print 4.25 crore books this year. The numbers of vendors have also increased from 400 to 680."