MoU signed with ISLRTC, in sync with New Education Policy too, will help standardise ISL
GN Bureau | October 6, 2020
Hearing Impaired schoolchildren will now be able to access education material in their preferred form of communication, Indian Sign Language (ISL), following an agreement between the NCERT and the Indian Sign Language Research and Training Center (ISLRTC)
ISLRTC, a national institute under the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD) of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment), signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT), a national institute of the Ministry of Education), on Tuesday. The MoU aims to “make education materials accessible for Deaf children in their preferred format of communication viz Indian Sign Language” the social justice ministry said in a release.
The MoU was signed in the virtual presence of Dr. Thaawarchand Gehlot, minister for social justice and empowerment, Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, minister for education; Shakuntala Doley Gamlin, secretary, DEPwD, and Anita Karwal, secretary (SE&L), ministry of education. Dr. Prabodh Seth, joint secretary, DEPwD and director, ISLRTC, and Prof. Hrushikesh Senapathy, director, NCERT, signed the MoU from the respective institutes.
In his remarks on the occasion, Gehlot termed the MoU “a historic step”, as availability of NCERT textbooks in ISL will ensure that Hearing Impaired children can also now access educational resources in their preferred mode of communication and it will be a useful and much needed resource for Hearing Impaired students, teachers, teacher educators, parents and the Hearing Impaired community, which in turn will have a huge impact on the education of Hearing Impaired children in the country.
“After this MoU, NCERT educational books and materials will be available in ISL which is same all over the country, which means all hearing impaired students of India whether from East or West or North or South, they all will read NCERT books in a single language, i.e., ISL. ISL denotes Unity in Diversity which is explained through Hands and understood through Eyes and it connects all hearing impaired people of our country all together,” he said.
Gehlot said that this MoU is a step towards achieving common goal of fulfilling needs of Rights of Persons with Disabilities (RPWD) Act, 2016 and New Education Policy (NEP), 2020. As part of this MoU, educational print materials such as NCERT Textbooks, Teachers Handbook and other Supplementary materials and resources of Class I-XII of all subjects of both Hindi and English Medium will be converted into ISL in Digital format.
Pokhariyal in his address congratulated NCERT on its 60th Foundation Day today and said that signing of MoU for converting NCERT educational materials into ISL ensures educational standardization of ISL as mandated in the NEP. He said that DEPwD has done remarkable work for the welfare and upliftment of Divyangjan and many new records have also been made on its achievements. “Definitely this MoU will empower the hearing impaired children in our country,” he said.
Gamlin said that in the childhood days, the cognitive skills of children are developed and it is very necessary to provide them educational material as per their learning needs. So far, hearing impaired children used to study only through verbal or written medium but after signing of this MoU, they can study through the single ISL also. It will not only enhance their vocabulary but also enhance their capabilities to understand concepts. The signing of this MoU is based on the UNICEF’s initiative “Accessible Digital Textbooks for All” and it is a landmark decision.
Karwal noted that the NEP has focused on the Multi Lingual Education. “Now NCERT will develop a Sign Language Module for Indian Sign Language.” She congratulated NCERT on 60th Foundation Day as well as for signing this historic MoU with ISLRTC for converting NCERT educational materials into ISL.
ISLRTC is an autonomous national institute, dedicated to the task of developing manpower for popularising the use of ISL as well as teaching and conducting research in ISL.
NCERT is responsible for ensuring qualitative improvement in school education by undertaking and promoting research in areas related to school education; prepare and publish model textbooks, supplementary material, newsletters, journals and develops educational kits, multimedia digital materials, etc. develop and disseminate innovative educational techniques and practices; and act as a nodal agency for achieving the goals of Universalization of Elementary Education.
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