Poojaa had been a classroom teacher teaching French, English & Humanities in international as well as SSC board schools in Thane. During this stint she had access to the 'Resource room' a space where children with learning difficulties are taught in isolation for specific subjects. It is here that she got to learn about 'Inclusive education' and Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan [SSA] which states that every child with learning difficulties should be accommodated in a normal school set up. It further states that each institution, recognized as a school must be equipped with a special educator and a counselor to cater to the needs of these children, which is further emphasized by the RTE [Right To Education]. Having been in the field of education from the onset of her career, she was always intrigued by the way children learn and what exactly sets a 'Bright' student apart from the one who 'Can Do Better'. Further education in the field of Neuro linguistic Programming and Psychotherapy answered these questions and a wholesome exposure as a volunteer and a counselor at 'Masoom' an NGO that works for night school students led her to the other spectrum, the Municipal schools. Having had experience of teaching in International schools, her stint at Masoom served to be a turning point. Here she got to see the unique styles of learning closely and the lack of resources in terms of awareness, training and acceptance about the issue of 'Learning disability' met her in the eye and she began a journey of research across schools in Thane.
Poojaa conducted a pilot study on the prevalence and management of Learning Disability in students in low income schools. The numbers were shocking: 9 out of 50 students have LD and of those 9, 6 students have their needs ignored. Students are often being pushed through the years up until year 8, two years before their major school exams and by then it's a clear case of 'the missed bus'. The answer to this was early intervention and Mimaansa with its 'Response To Intervention' model took form.
Mimaansa aims to provide a better understanding of this common, but often misunderstood, condition and provide appropriate remedial assistance. It works to promote acceptance of the special needs of children with learning disabilities and to enable them to reach their full potential.
- Lack of awareness about and resources for students with learning disabilities in Government Schools
- All government schools are meaningful and inclusive spaces for learning and personal development of students with learning disability
- To strengthen government schools by providing exemplary remedial education and counselling services
- Advocate systemic change to create an integrated environment for children with learning disability