By Mudassir Raja
HOPE (Help, Opportunity, Participation, and Education)-Qatar, recently observed ‘Teachers’ Day’. As part of the celebration, special activities were organised for the students.
Where the junior students of the academic stream crafted customised ‘thank you cards’ for their teachers, the senior students conducted mock class session for their peers, taking over the role of teachers.
Teachers’ Day is celebrated across the globe on different days. In India, it is celebrated on 5th September co-inciding with the birth anniversary of Dr S Radhakrishnan, the first Vice President of India (1952-1962), a philosopher and thinker who spent most of his life teaching Indian philosophy. Internationally October 5 is marked as World Teachers Day. The role of teachers in the life of each student is of paramount importance and to thank them on their special day, students across the world acknowledge this role and significance.
What makes it all more significant at HOPE Qatar is that the students there are differently abled. The efforts of teachers there are very important in bringing about even the smallest of change and improvement. In extending their love and affection to their teachers through specially hand crafted greeting cards, and the heartfelt speeches, the children at HOPE also demonstrated that they too acknowledge the extremely important role of teachers in their lives.
HOPE Qatar provides ‘help, opportunity, participation and education’ to children with mild to moderate intellectual challenges. While the morning batch focuses more on academic programmes, the afternoon batch provides individualised attention to children with more profound challenges on a one-to-one basis. The centre also provides therapeutic interventions for differently abled children including speech and behavioural therapy. Even students of regular schools who require special intervention for speech or behavioural issues avail the services available at HOPE.
Speaking about her peers and teachers, Safiya Fatima, a senior student at HOPE Qatar, said, “Thank you beloved teachers for making me who I am today. Without your support and constant encouragement I could not have progressed this far.”
Joshua Sam Varkey, a student from the junior class, also spoke during the Teachers’ Day celebrations saying, “I enjoy coming here every day and being with my friends and teachers. I love spending time with my teachers who guide me and support me in my education and extra-curricular activities.”
Sharing her thoughts on the occasion with Community, Geetha Shoji, Co-ordinator HOPE Qatar, said, “Teachers do play a key role in the lives of students and especially for special kids. It is really important to celebrate teachers’ day to acknowledge the commitment and efforts a teacher makes to mold the kids. We all were surprised to hear from our senior students. They showed appreciation for their teachers. They thanked them for being with them.”
Mamta Yash, Special Education Co-ordinator, said, “It is a matter of pride for me to teach the children with special needs. They all are special in different ways. Some of them are extra special and need extra care, more love and more time. I am really happy to receive ‘thank you teacher’ card made by them. I want to thank them for being in my life. I love them and need them as much as they need me. I am proud that I chose to teach them.”
Talking to Community, Dr Rajeev Thomas, Founder and Advisory Board member of HOPE Qatar, said, “At HOPE Qatar, a centre for special needs, we provide children with a host of opportunities to reach their full potential. Over the last 13 years, the team at HOPE has churned out amazing youngsters who have in many cases returned to mainstream education, completed their X and XII grades through national open schooling examinations, completed their diplomas in computer applications.”
“HOPE Qatar has been offering high impact meaningful and affordable special needs education and intervention services in Qatar. HOPE functions with two primary objectives. Apart from providing high quality educational services to the differently abled in Qatar, the centre also focuses on creating awareness in society about the abilities of the children and youth with special needs. They believe that it is the society’s collective responsibility to open up opportunities for the differently abled children and youth, so that they too can lead self-fulfilling, meaningful lives, and become value adding members of the society that they live in,” he added.
ACTIVITY: Joshua Sam, a student at HOPE Qatar, speaking to his peers during the activity.
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