CUTTACK: For the visually impaired children enrolled in schools of Cuttack district, shortage of books and study materials coupled with lack of proper teaching mechanisms would soon be a thing of the past. They will, from the ensuing academic session 2012-13, learn subjects by listening to Talking Books.
Talking Book project, the first of its kind initiative in the State, will provide students with audio transcripts of the subjects taught in the schools with comprehensive explanations and problem solving capabilities. The books, under innovative programme launched by the district administration through the Sarva Sikhsa Abhiyaan (SSA), would be ready and distributed among the visually impaired students by the end of March.
In the first phase, students from Class VI to VIII would be covered. Science, maths and social studies would be first converted into audio books and gradually be expanded to bring in English, Oriya and other subjects.
The books would be prepared by a group of 30 expert teachers, who have been screened for the capability to explain subjects to students in the most effective manner. “As the visually impaired students are solely dependant on absorbing lessons through hearing, teaching through audio assumes optimum importance. The delivery should be such that each and every student understands and internalises what is being taught”, Collector Girish SN said.
The talking books would be recorded by expert teachers drawn from the specific subject areas. Each and every chapter would be read out clearly and be interspersed with elaborate and exhaustive explanations. Hard spots or difficult areas in the chapters have been identified and underlined for special attention and focus.
There are about 96 visually impaired students in the district. Most of them are enrolled at the Blind School Cuttack while the rest are scattered individually across 30 schools. These students are the focus of the project as those in the Blind School have access to specialised teaching.
The concept of Talking Book was thought of as a solution to the problems of the students not only in obtaining Braille books but also learning through them in the absence of trained teachers or guides, Girish explained.
The recording of the books would commence later this month. The Talking Books would be distributed among the identified schools in three subjects by March 31. “By April 15, when the new academic session commences, students would have been provided with audio books on all subjects. The books for students in higher classes would be introduced subsequently”, district project coordinator of SSA BK Rath said.