- Delhi Government’s ‘Project Smile’ for children with learning disabilities
- Project Smile will provide specialised assistance to children with learning disabilities
- 35,000 children to be tested for learning disabilities
The Government of Delhi’s “Every Child Can Read” campaign concluded successfully on 14th November. Across Classes 6 to 8, more than one lakh children were able to progress to a level where they could read their grade-level textbook. However, approximately 5% of children could not go beyond identifying alphabets despite the schools’ efforts, in the 30-day “Reading Campaign”. The Government has identified 35,000 such children, who will be tested for learning disabilities and thereafter would be provided appropriate learning support. In an effort to provide specialised assistance to children who are identified with learning disabilities, the Government has launched ‘Project Smile’.
Project Smile is aimed at reaching every child studying in Delhi’s government schools and to prevent the possibility of neglect of such children. Deputy Chief Minister Shri Manish Sisodia said, “When we launched ‘Every Child Can Read campaign’, the Government was serious about reaching every child in our schools. Project Smile will ensure that no child will be left behind as a result of their learning disability. We are optimistic about the future of these children, and with special attention, I am confident they will achieve success in school and in life.”
These 35,000 children will be administered screening tests by Special Education Teachers and Counsellors to identify if any of them have learning disabilities. Based on the results of these screening tests, these Special Education Teachers and Counsellors will be allotted groups of children, for specialised support based on their specific learning disability. A Control Unit would be set up in the Directorate to monitor the ongoing implementation of this project. The Government’s effort to enhance learning outcomes has taken a more inclusive approach after the launch of Project Smile. The Government is working on multiple levels with every stakeholder to upgrade the quality of public education available in Delhi. ‘Every Child Can Read’ campaign and Project Smile are two of the most far reaching initiatives in terms of impact on learning outcomes.