It is not always a bed of roses for gifted people, especially as children. It is essential that one develops their talents in every sense. In Pune, one school has taken the step to help gifted children in their school understand their hidden talent. The Kaveri Gifted Education Centre has been started by Kaveri Group of Institutes in collaboration with Mensa India, Pune Chapter. Their aim is simple – meet the special needs of the gifted students in our educational system. Though the basic programme was running successfully since 2009, the centre was launched on February 8 and will also be available for all Pune schools. The inauguration took place at Smt Shakuntala Jagannath Shetty Auditorium, Dr Kalmadi Shamrao High School.
Through this centre, the institute would be an epicentre of the programmes and services to be provided to other schools, teachers and parents, in dealing with gifted children. Special Mensa tests will allow them to figure which of the children are gifted. Those scoring 95 per cent and above can go for the support provided by the centre. At the centre’s inauguration, the speakers were Dr Narayan Desai, a part of Mensa India, Sameena Manaswala and Malati Kalmadi, Secretary, Kannada Sangha. The centre is the place to understand children with high potential who are otherwise not given their due, thanks to the rota system. Here, such kids make up to 20 per cent of the students and Mensa is the organisation to take the potential further. The two institutes joined hands last year and kids between 10-13 years will be seen fit to take the tests. Initially, the Renzuli model was used to assess gifted children but with the model being phased out, a standardised model is brought in by Mensa. Malati Kalmadi further adds that such a centre will be great to understand children with such abilities. “Some of these kids do well ahead. This is an intelligence caring institute which looks at the potential of a child. It will help in igniting the gifted mind.”
According to Dr Narayan Desai, the centre is a great way to provide niche to gifted minds. “There are three things involved in education – Dyana, Kriya and Iccha Shakti. The gifted minds lack the last two. The school is an eco-system and if it is not complete, there is unhappiness.” He further adds that they will collaborate with other schools. The centre’s facilities have already got the right attention and four schools have shown interest. Dr Devasena Desai reflects on the fact that classrooms still have way to go, in terms of handling children of all kinds. “Gifted children need to be understood and supported. You have to encourage them, guide them and hear them out. You have to respect their talent. These kids are sensitive to constant criticism or lack of understanding. If they are talented in one field, they might lag somewhere else. Parents need to handle and know their child better.”