The State school education department has informed the Madras High Court that it has identified 346 students of classes 1 to 12 with dyslexia and proper counselling is being provided to them by the Samagra Shiksha special educators.
CN Amuthavalli, Joint Director, School Education Department submitted this in a counter-affidavit before the first bench of Acting Chief Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari and Justice PD Audikesavalu as the judges heard a plea by K Elango who wanted a direction to the school education department to set up an expert committee to identify the students affected by dyslexia and to organise statewide counselling for those addicted to social media based on his representations in 2017.
Mythereye Chandru, a special government pleader who appeared on behalf of the school education department said the social media addiction is not mentioned as a cause for dyslexia or its associated conditions and it is mainly because of the family history of dyslexia or other learning disabilities including premature birth or birth with low weight.
The special GP informed the court that Samagara Siksha is functioning under the department and has been taking care of those children by appointing special teachers. “To teach the children with 21 kinds of disabilities including dyslexia, the school education department has 58 regular special teachers, while 2,196 consolidated pay teachers are working with the elementary education department and four special teachers on consolidated pay in the secondary education department,” the State informed the bench.
The department also submitted that 346 children found to be affected with dyslexia are given Rs 300 each per month as transport/escort allowance and Rs 200 per month as a stipend. “It is a mandate every school and institution should have full-time professional counsellors experienced in child psychology that children can interact with learning consistently about child sexual abuse, adolescence, puberty and personal safety; and to audit regular and recurring promotional and publicity activities that promote awareness among the public as contemplated under Section 43 of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012,” the JD, School Education noted.
Mythereye Chandru also said 10 mobile psychological counselling centres are functioning across the State to safeguard and to take preventive measures of mental health and psychosocial development of the students.
On recording the submissions, the bench disposed of the matter stating the School Education department had already taken proper action in the matter.