CSI KARUNALAYAM – Residential School for
Intellectually Challenged, ALUVA

Principal : Rev. Renju Varghese Mathew
Mob: 9952700295
Child care worker : Mrs. Sudha P. George
Warden & Chaplain : Mr. Jeemson CD
Mob: 7560878400
Phone : 0484 2626041./ 88914032256
Email : csikarunalayam81@gmail.com
Address : PB.No. 86, Aluva – 683 101

A brief history of CSI Karunalayam Special School

C.S.I Karunalayam is a residential school for intellectually challenged children. Karunalayam started to function in January 1981 with 14 children and 4 staff under the management of CSI North Kerala Diocese (at present Cochin Diocese). The school is situated in the heart of Alwaye, which is a suburb of Kochi in Ernakulam district of Kerala. The school started for mild and moderate intellectually challenged children. The admission priorities are to children from very poor and under privileged situations. The training includes achieving self care, academic and vocational skills. . In the vocational class children undergo the training in candle making, tailoring and needle work, book binding, umbrella making, paper pen making, paper bag making, jewelry making, Christmas card making and other seasonal works.

Apart from the normal individual curriculum there are classes for yoga, physiotherapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, work experience and craft. Now there are 65 children (41 children resident at the home and 24 children attending as day scholars). Through the special training, children become independent in the social main stream, to cater for the overall development and independence at home and in society.

During exhibitions and festivals we sell our vocational products. Children writes 4th & 7th std equaling exam conducted by Government of Kerala every year and they gets over it too. More than one thousand special children completed their education from Karunalayam. Most of them are doing sheltered workshops like poultry farming, agriculture, cooking, peon etc.Our aim is to develop the intellectually challenged children to come up in life and to stand on their own to lead an independent life. Therefore we help the children live effectively with the disability without being disabled.

The school started to function in an old building of St. John The Baptist church. Later when the old building became inadequate to accommodate children, two new buildings were constructed for school and hostel in the church premises. This was inaugurated by Mr. K R Narayanan, Hon. Minister of state for science and technology on 31st July 1988. Later another office building also came into function by 28th February 2000.

The children are divided in the class rooms are as follows:

Age rangeClass
3-6 Pre-primary
7-11 Primary
12-15 Secondary
16-18 Pre-Vocational
19 and above Vocational

The age range of children is 6-25 years. The student in the age group 6-17 undergo academic program. There is 14 full time staff including 6 teaching staff , 1 child care worker,1 male warden, 4 care takers, 2 kitchen staff and part time staff for Physiotherapy, driver, music and band set. Vocational training is given at the age of 17 above.

Work in the project

Our day begins at 6 am. Self care activities are done in hostel and they come to class at 10 am. Self care training is given in hostel as well as in school. Special classes start with an assembly and prayer. Scripture classes especially Bible stories and verses are taught up to 10.30 am. After that special classes are given

In the afternoon students are exposed to training in music, dance, indoor and outdoor games, vegetable gardening, flowers gardening, cooking, domestic skill training etc. We promote the academic activities of children. In Karunalayam classes are divided on the basis of age level as primary, secondary, pre-vocational and vocational. We follow the particular curriculum named ‘EPICC’ a curriculum developed by Kerala Govt. for special children. We assess the children at the beginning of the year and goals are selected according to the priority. Pre vocational training begins from the low level itself.

In the evening children engage in games and sports at hostel. To nurture Christian belief morning and evening prayers are conducted in hostel. Bible stories and bible verses are taught at that time.

Program in action

Our programs and activities are planned to promote the development of our children. We plant trees in our project on environmental day. Every year on November 14th we take our children to Fine Arts Hall, Ernakulam for children’s day program conducted by Centre for Empowerment and Enrichment. Special Olympics and Special School Kalotsavam are held in alternate years. These programs enable our children to improve their social skills and to deliver their skills in the best way possible.

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