GMCs across State to have learning disability certificate issuing centre

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 11 Feb 2019 10:31:53

    Dr Sanjay Mukherjee, Praveen Pardeshi

By Vikas Vaidya,

DMER, Department of Education, Disability to drive the project jointly

CMO wants it to start by the end of March

There is a reason for parents, having wards suffering from Learning Disability (LD), to smile, as Maharashtra Government has decided to start centres for issuing LD certificates at all Government Medical Colleges (GMCs) across State. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has issued instructed to all the department concerned to give momentum to the process and start the centres by March end this year. Responsibility has been bestowed upon Medical Education Secretary Dr Sanjay Mukherjee, who immediately convened a video conferencing of all Deans, Directors, Joint Directors, Education Commissioner, Disability Commissioner and issued necessary instructions to them.

Dr Mukherjee had started the process much earlier wherein his department of medical education and research (DMER) coordinated with Department of Education, did a survey and identified 50,000 LD students in State.

“The problem is much more serious than what was thought. A two-members committee was constituted by Chief Minister of Dr V P Kale (Mumbai) and Sanjay Awachat (Nagpur) submitted the report with some recommendations. We need to have each centre with a Special Educator, a Clinical Psychologist, a Paediatrician, an Audiometrist and a Speech Therapist. We will be coordinating with Department of Education and Disability whose Commissioners also attended the meeting. These departments will help us in setting up the centres,” informed Dr Sanjay Mukherjee while speaking to ‘The Hitavada’.

Many positive methods were introduced by Rajendra Darda being Education Minister in Congress-NCP Government, one among those was, he had made it mandatory for schools to appoint Clinical Psychologist and Counselor.
Now, the present Government would ask Education Department get those Psychologists to work at Centre which will function for two days in a week. Certificate issuing process normally conducted once in a week. But Dr Mukherjee insisted to get it done on two days. Department of Disability will provide Audiometrist and Speech Therapist for the centre. DMER has to appoint one Paediatrician.

“We do not have much trouble as far as posts are concerned. It will be resolved. We will have to train the people at various levels involved in the centre. The training of these people would be conducted at Mumbai, Aurangabad and Nagpur. These trained manpower will work as a team. The same team will have to perform certain tests on the students to know their exact problem. The kits with all material including the testing one will be kept at the centres,” explained Dr Mukherjee.

Praveen Pardeshi, Additional Chief Secretary to Chief Minister told ‘The Hitavada’, “We are working with all medical colleges, civil hospitals in all districts and school education department to identify children with LD, medically test them and certify the medical disability. These certified children will get regular therapeutic intervention with special teachers to improve learning outcomes. If we find running of short of staff we will hire the private services and also Emanuel private speech therapists.”
“Children have to get themselves registered at centres by submitting their UID. After the identification of their problems they would get the certificate. We are trying to get procedure time reduced,” said Dr Mukherjee.



Chief Minister takes cognisance of letter by city’s Sanjay Awachat
Learning Disability (LD) is a big issue and has been giving headaches to parents of such wards. Facilities like providing more time to LD students in examination is one thing but there are several other discounts the people with LD get. One has to have to get certified for LD. Procuring the certificate is the bigger issue as there are only 8 centres in State and that are not functioning on a regular basis. So, parents from every corner of the State have to go to Nair Hospital in Mumbai, the only centre catering to even those coming from outside Mumbai to get the certificate. In Mumbai also the procedure to get the certificate is not easy. Realising the pain and hardships faced by outstation parents, Nagpur’s Sanjay Awachat, whose child is also suffering from LD, submitted a letter to Devendra Fadnavis and demanded more such centres across State. This made a positive impact as Fadnavis took cognisance of the letter and the procedure to have learning disability certificate issuing centre in all Government Medical Colleges across State started.