Celebrating 5 years of CanKids Canshala Mumbai- School for Children with Cancer

February 10, 2018

The Most Committed NGO in Eearly Child Care and Education

The Early Childhood Association have presented an Award to Cankids for - Most Committed NGO in Early Child Care an Education. Award was given by Ms. Sabana Azmi

Introducing Canshala- A School for Children with Cancer

CanKids Canshala, the first of its kind in India, is based on a 'school in the hospital' concept, and was started in November 2012, serving children with cancer coming to Tata Memorial Hospital, Bai Jerbai Wadia Hospital for Children, Lokmanya Tilak Municipal General Hospital and other Cancer Centers in Mumbai. It is a public-private partnership between local State Government and CanKids.

History of CanKis Canshala-Mumbai

CanKids Canshala, the first of its kind in India, was started in November 2012. 

This exciting adaptation of the ‘School in the Hospital’ concept, combines the school service in a cancer hospital and local schooling adapted to the child’s cancer treatment. 

Canshala school started operating only with four rooms in November 2012. Two classrooms, one activity come therapy room and one Cankids Regional office.

School in the Hospital” aims to ensure
  • That a child is registered at a local school, 'Canshala'.
  • Baseline testing & educational and social evaluation is done.
  • An Individualized Education Program (IEP) is developed.
  • The child attends the school when able. Learning is appropriate to health and attendance is not compulsory.
  • Learning is through non-formal approaches with a focus on drama/art/ music/therapy, skills building, self-esteem, vocabulary, life-skills, and the basic ‘3Rs’
  • If the child is older and able to cope with the rigor of regular learning, tutorial schooling is provided 
  • Creative adjustments are made for handling the workload, especially to cater to side effects, late side-effects and learning difficulties resulting from treatment
  • “Homebound schooling” is provided to the largest extent possible when the child is too sick to attend school.  This may be provided in the ward.  
  • The local school/school in the hospital keeps the child’s home school apprised of the child’s treatment and educational progress
This is Cankids pilot project. It’s divided and conceptualized in four phases

First Phase: To get space to start “formal” school for children with cancer, set up the place and get started with the programme.

Second Phase: Was to take “formal school” into “Ward or Bedside” education.

Third Phase: To get in touch with the child’s previous school to know how is the child doing now and to ask about his progress and to inform the school to take care and give special attention. Also if they can reduce or wave of the child’s fee.

Fourth phase: To find out about the late side effects and hold clinics teaming up with the doctors and parents.

Achievements of our Cankids Canshala Mumbai
  • Canshala has been renovated and is operational with six rooms.
  • New desks and chairs for children are made and classroom too looks very colourful and child friendly.
  • Earlier the attendance was just running on 10 to 15 children but now with teachers, social workers, Principal., Psychologist go visiting dharamshala’s regularly and the attendance and registrations have gone up. At present the attendance runs on 25 to 30 on most days.
  • With extra curricular activities in place children look forward to participate in all activities even though they are under treatment.
  • Children are excited about their “Educational field trips”.
  • Psychologist has started taking the “Baseline” for children studying at Canshala (as a pilot project we concentrated last year just on “Patients”). From now we will be executing baseline for all the children (irrespective of patient or sibling).
  • IEP’s too will be executed for children who are going to stay for a long time.
  • Educational counsellors, Psychologist and teachers will be monitoring the children and reporting accordingly.
  • One student by the name of Bhavesh, has taken special interest in learning about the “hardware” of the computer and to his credit has assembled more than 50 computers. He comes to Canshala to study regularly like other children and to clear doubts and attends the night school too in the evening.
  • Saathi another student of Canshala is a very intelligent child, whose skills were not tapped till she came to Canshala and now after she started attending our school has shown great improvement in her studies. She was a very shy student but she has overcome all that now.
  • She is an exceptionally talented girl…She is a very good singer, very graceful dancer, strums the guitar well and has got her wish fulfilled by a donor and got a guitar for herself. She draws exceptionally well and after her 10th standard we’re planning to put her for JJ School of Arts.
  • Saathi loves Canshala School and does not want to go back to Kolkatta for studying and wants to complete her studies through Open Schooling (NIOS). Which we’re trying to help her with.
  • We have started giving ration to children who maintain 10 days of attendance.
  • Monthly tests are given to these 10 children and report cards are made and child’s progress is discussed.
  • Children are not studying for a whole year with us so to keep their spirit high and show their inherent talent in spite of their illness “Canshala Annual Day” was conceived a year back. Now it’s an annual event. Children are taught dancing, singing, they strum guitar on their own, participate in drama etc. Even the compeering for the whole programme is done by the Canshala students.
  • They’re taught how to participate and put their views before an audience through a “debate”. Intern’s who come teach them this.
  • Many Schools and colleges have tied up with Canshala and come to engage our children by teaching them something new. Schools like American School, Bombay Scottish, Green Lawns, Jamnabhai and Don Bosco etc. Colleges like SVT, Nirmala Niketan and Sophia too send their students to intern with us,. They teach Social studies through skits and teach art and craft etc.
  • Our pilot project is successful and since Wadia hospital has special “protocol” we never used to get children from Wadia to attend “Canshala”. So we had asked Wadia management and doctors to give us space to open “School in the hospital” and they readily agreed and now we have a small cute “School room” inside the Wadia hospital.
  • This is the extension of our main Canshala. Here children who come to the OPD, admitted in the ward, who come from far off places and all those who go to regular schools will be attending.
  • They will also be provided BMC 27 items.
  • Normal class timetable will be followed and school timing will be from 9am to 3:30 pm. Morning time will be dedicated only for studying. Post lunch all the extra curricular facilities too will be extended.
Best Regards

Contact Us:- communications@cankidsindia.org

Communication Education Public Awareness & Advocacy (CEPAA) Department

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