SOE Teaching & Learning Initiative – Collaborations with Rising Sun Institute for Special Children & SNPET

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

The Teaching and Learning Initiative at the Syed Ahsan Ali and Syed Maratib Ali School of Education (SOE) organised its first event with two partner schools, Sanjan Nagar Public Education Trust (SNPET) and Rising Sun Institute for Special Education on Friday, September 28, 2018 moderated by Dr. Tayyaba Tamim, Associate Professor, SOE.

The event was organised to provide the SOE MPhil students with a better understanding of the School's partners and to help create an awareness of the multiple complexities in the education sector. The format of the event was an introductory presentation by the partner schools, followed by a specific challenge faced by them. Key complications were discussed followed by an analysis by Dr. Tamim and discussion with the MPhil students.

Ms. Nabila Chaudhry, Director Programmes & Projects, Rising Sun Institute for Special Children began the proceedings by giving a background and contextual information about the Institute and went on to present the challenge. There are currently more than 700 students with various learning and physical disabilities enrolled in their two purpose-built state-of-the-art campuses located in DHA and Mughalpura. She informed the attendees about the different programmes the Institute offers. The challenge she presented was based on their Community-Based Rehabilitation (CBR) project, which they launched in 2017. CBR provides a community-based low-cost solution for the rehabilitation of the identified children. The project cycle includes the hiring and three months training of Community Resource Persons (CRPs), followed by identification of an outpost centre. Currently, Rising Sun’s CBR is catering to 52 children at these outposts with 2 CRPs.

The Institute wants to expand the CBR project but faces significant challenges from the parents’ lack of acceptance of their child’s disabilities and the CPRs, reluctance to go into people’s homes. Rising Sun therefore, has not been able to achieve the expected results. The dilemma faced by them now is whether to keep the project and service delivery cycle as it is or make certain adaptions to the model to increase the capacity. Following this presentation Dr. Tamim opened the floor for a Q&A session with the MPhil students. The open-ended conversation went into the next session for a final synopsis later.

Sanjan Nagar Public Education Trust (SNPET) is the brain child of eminent lawyer, Mr. Raza Kasim. His vision to educate girls from underprivileged socio-economic backgrounds and to empower them to create equity in education resulted in a unique model in the form of Sanjan Nagar School. The School started in 1995 and has an International Baccalaureate, Primary Year Programme (PYP). The challenge presented by SNPET was the lack of availability of good English language teachers and the high turnover of trained IB teachers. The background of the student community and the ignorance of the parents is also a crucial component of the challenge. This challenge opened many conversations related to training, English language and the background of the student body. The exploratory questions by the students were incisive and engaging.

The session came to a close with Dr. Tamim and the students comparing the challenges, opening them up for debate and then relating them to the theoretical models taught in class. The students responded with very pertinent questions and concerns. The challenges were an impetus for an energetic dialogue and debate by the students and partners.