What Is an Alternative Education Program & Why It Is a Good Option?

Conventional schools play an important role in a child’s life. Schools prepare students to face the real-world by the knowledge and experience they impart over the years. They do so, through careful planning, design, implementation of proven principles in the form of frameworks which are designed for the overall well-being of the students. Since all these frameworks have to be implemented as a common standard, they are designed taking the average personality traits of the children.

But, you are here reading this article because you want to know about children or adults who do not belong in this category and have special needs. You want to know what are the different alternative education programs that are beyond the confines of the traditional education systems which can cater to the specially enabled children and adults. In the next lines, you will find the answer to all your pressing questions.

So, what is alternative education? And why is it needed?

Going by the alternative education definition, it is the educational framework specially designed to accommodate the special needs of students and adults, which can’t be satisfied by the traditional or conventional education system. The special needs may be broadly classified into educational, medical, and psychological. These special needs arise due to various disabilities such as learning, health-related, physical, and mental. So, such special needs require special attention which can be offered only by an alternative education system. Alternative education systems are crucial because they are flexible in nature and their frameworks can be tailor-made as per the requirement. They are more focused on the soft skill development of children and adults in order to facilitate their involvement and interactions within society. They are also focused on strengthening the self-esteem of special students and preparing them to face the real world. They ensure that these students and adults will not have their special needs as their limitations and face the real world like any other regular student or adult who has graduated from a conventional educational system.

Benefits of the alternative school offering alternative education programs:

  1. Apart from imparting knowledge in regular subjects like those offered at conventional high school and college, the alternative school offers additional features. When you read through them in the in next lines, they encourage you to question the traditional and conventional school on implementing the same as they make learning much more involved and fun for students.
  2. The mode of instructions: Alternative education center offers skill-based and personalized mode instructions specific to the individual requirements depending on the special need.
  3. Learning is non-graded: Grading often leads to stress in students. It makes them feel that the system is unfair. Hence, more immersive learning is taught which is free from grading.
  4. Well-rounded curriculum: The study curriculum being taught at the alternative school is well-rounded. It has elements from regular subjects and couple them with social training to make students more adaptable to the actual real world.
  5. Education which goes beyond the classroom: Alternative school focuses on the self and collective social perception, image, interaction. These learnings are based on experience which goes beyond the classroom and helps students to face the real world in a better way.

Limitations of the alternative school offering alternative education program:

  1. They may be more expensive. The alternate school which delivers personalized, well-rounded study curriculum specific to the special needs of individual students can be more expensive when compared to traditional and conventional school which offer more standardized study curriculum.
  2. The number of alternative schools is less. Since the alternative school caters to the specific needs of special students and adults whose number isn’t high, the number of schools is less. This also makes them available only in certain locations as all cities won’t have one.
  3. Admissions might be limited. Since the number of alternative schools is less and at limited locations, the seats available for students is also comparatively less. This makes getting admitted to such alternative education center little more challenging and difficult.
  4. Specially trained faculty. This is more of a challenge to the management and board members of the alternative school and not much to the aspiring special students and adults. Since the educational framework that the alternative school offer is unique, you need specially trained professional who can deliver the same. Finding these specific people trained in special skills can be a big challenge.
  5. Limited choices. Since the number of alternative schools is less, special students and adults will have a limited number of choices available for them to choose to pursue their education.

Our acknowledgment and appreciation

Looking into the burning need of having alternative school to cater the special needs of special students and adults, the benefits this alternative education center offers to these special students and adults when compared to traditional and conventional school, the limitations of the same seem too small. So, it is important to acknowledge and appreciate the alternative school for their much needed special services.