What is remedial education?

We have seen in another article what is learning disorder, what is slow learning. In all these 3 disorders one thing gets effected grievously and needs intervention that is academic skills. Is it right to say that children with these disorders are no longer eligible for education? Do they not have a right to education? The most moral of all answers is “they definitely have a right to education” if that is so how do we give it?

The general form of education that is being offered to children without these disabilities has been found to be of very little help to the children with these concerns and hence there came a form of education that is most suitable for these children as well as for even children who are a little slow in understanding academic material or find it difficult to cope with it when taught in a group. This form of imparting education is said to be remedial education and/or special education.

There are professionals trained in this form of imparting education, they are called remedial teachers or special educators, depending on the educational degree that they have. Now let’s understand remedial education and special education separately. Remedial education has many names like developmental education, basic skills education, compensatory education, preparatory education, and academic upgrading. These names can help us get an idea about the functions it performs. It gives the child the grounding or the basic skills that are required for understanding academics like basic reading, comprehension, writing and math skills.

This is more beneficial for children with learning disorder and for those who are not able to cope with their academics but do not have a learning disorder. When basics are well understood, understanding higher level material becomes comparatively easy.

If a child is in 5th grade and the child’s ability to perform is of 3rd grade than we can start with 2nd grade material. Why? The child has been trying to do 5th grade material without success and hence feelings of demotivation, lack of interest and lack of self-confidence may be present. When we work on 2nd grade material the child will be able to perform with ease which boasts his motivation and confidence. When the child would proceed with this boasted motivation and confidence to 3rd grade material he/she would be able to understand and perform better. Remedial education would involve various different ways of teaching and learning that would help the child learn, meanwhile because his/her basics are being worked upon his/her ability to grasp 5th grade material would improve simultaneously.

Special education on the other hand is more intensive form of remedial education that would benefit children with mental retardation, autism and other children with special needs.

Government is trying to bring remedial education and special education in all regular schools making sure that children of different capacities and abilities receive all the help that can help to have a smooth academic functioning. In some institution regular teachers are being trained for remedial and special education while in others separate teachers are appointed for these services.

Remedial and special education should be seen as assistance to the teachers and to the schools. There are certain misconceptions about it, parents may feel that going for remedial education or special education is a stigma labelling the child as incompetent which is an absolute wrong perception. It is a form of assistance given to the child helping in better coping with academics and grow more completely with confidence.

Sending the child for remedial also does not mean that the class teacher is incompetent. In a class of 40, the teacher has to follow a pattern of teaching that would suite the majority and hence if a few in the class lag behind they can be given assistance from the remedial teachers so that their basics are looked after by the remedial teacher while the grade academic requirement is looked after by the class teacher.

If remedial help is not given, the gap between the standard grade requirement and what the child’s actual level of performance is may grow leading to low scores in exams, low motivation towards studies, lack of interest and confidence. Remedial can help fill up this gap or at least not let the gap grow wider. Always remember seeking help is not the sign of a coward but is the maturity of a wise man wanting to take responsibility and grow better in life.

We at Mumbai Psychiatry Clinics have a dedicated team of counsellors and clinical psychologists who will help you with your problems, cite interventions and assess the progress on regular intervals. There are experienced psychiatrists who will be guiding you throughout your journey and our Multidisciplinary team will try to assure you with the best help possible.