Prof Ahmad accompanied by AMU alumni, New York, also visited the Brooklyn College, City University of New York (CUNY) to explore opportunities for collaboration between the Centre for Early Childhood Development and Research (CECDR), JMI, and the School of Early Childhood and Arts Education, CUNY.
In his interaction with his hosts from Brooklyn College, including Professor Jacqueline Shannon (Chair, School of Early Childhood and Arts Education), Professor Mary Debey and Professor Shaheen Usmani, Prof Ahmad emphasized the need for inclusive education and discussed the state of children with disabilities and developmental delays in India.
Citing the National Sample Survey Organization (NSSO 2002), which put the number of disabled in India at approximately 18.5 million (1.8% of the population), both Professor Ahmad and Professor Debey talked about the tremendous task ahead in addressing this problem.
Prof Ahmad spoke about the significance of "Nai Taleem" (New Education) programme and "Talimi Mela' (Educational Fair) of JMI. Professor Shaheen Usmani spoke about her project "Rehbar" (Mentor), a literacy and skill enhancement project designed for the gardeners, janitors and construction workers of Jamia.
Some of the key points discussed for collaboration between the two institutions included developing a detailed proposal of cooperation jointly by staffs at CECDR and Brooklyn College, said a statement from JMI. Brooklyn College may also offer to conduct training and build the capacity of both CECDR staff as well as teachers of early grades in Jamia schools.
It was also suggested that the Advanced Certificate in Early Intervention of Brooklyn College could be co-transacted with CECDR for a joint certification.
Few other courses could also be developed for transaction in a hybrid mode. It was further proposed that the two institutions may study the possibility of conducting joint action researches to validate some of the interventions and explore options to develop context-specific public and instructional materials in early interventions, including short spots and films.
Brooklyn College/CECDR may apply for grants in their respective countries to support this cooperation and its various activities.
Both the Dean and the Vice Chancellor agreed in principle to provide resources and other facilities in validating the proposal. It was also suggested that online training courses should be started as early as possible. Dean, April Bedford expressed her happiness and willingness to work with JMI.
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