Kerala designs first-ever inclusive sports manual for differently abled

The General Education department in Kerala has come out with an inclusive sports manual to promote the sporting talents of differently abled children and ensuring their inclusion on the field.

Minister for General Education V. Sivankutty said at a press conference on Wednesday that this was the first time in the country that such a document was being drawn up. Steps were under way to organise inclusive sports competitions this year itself.

Earlier, the Samagra Shiksha, Kerala, and the State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) had come out with a draft inclusive sports manual.

The inclusive sports programme aims at promoting sports with participation of individuals with different kinds of disabilities and those without disabilities. Sports activities will be planned for the physically challenged, visually challenged, hearing impaired, intellectually disabled and other students, and include those without disabilities.

It is expected to help students with disabilities in terms of motor skill development, fitness, and social skills, while enabling students without such challenges to understand and accept the issues faced by those with disabilities.

Outlining other academic and non-academic programmes, the Minister said ‘Healthy Kids,’ planned to ensure physical and mental health of children by initiating them into sports and games, would be implemented for primary students of State-run schools.

Designed by the SCERT, it had been approved by the curriculum committee, and two books had been prepared as part of it.

Projects to the tune of ₹121.23 crore would be implemented as part of an inclusive education programme for differently abled children. These include distribution of assistive devices, home-based education, stipend for girls, functioning of autism centres, therapy services, and the Changathikootam project.

Model autism complexes would be started in all 14 districts. An amount of ₹37.8 crore had been allocated for setting up the autism complexes at a cost of ₹2.7 lakh each.

A programme ‘Beach to bench’ would be implemented for academic, social, and sports development of students from the coastal areas studying in State schools, the Minister said.

Students in classes V to 12 who were not faring well in studies would be identified and provided academic support as part of the ‘Helping hands’ project.

The 14 district institutes of education and training (DIET) in the State would be turned into centres of excellence in five years. Initially, work on transforming the DIETs in Palakkad, Thrissur, and Idukki would be taken up, the Minister said.

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