Nation Current Affairs 16 Oct 2018 Hyderabad: Special k ...

Hyderabad: Special kids kept away from mainstream education

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | ANUSHA PUPPALA
Published Oct 16, 2018, 1:39 am IST
Updated Oct 16, 2018, 1:40 am IST
Activists slam state, Centre for failing to implement Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act.
The National Policy on Education of 2016 has no structure to oversee the inclusion of children with special needs in the school system. There is no mechanism through which schools can draw on a pool of experts when needed.
 The National Policy on Education of 2016 has no structure to oversee the inclusion of children with special needs in the school system. There is no mechanism through which schools can draw on a pool of experts when needed.

Hyderabad: Home-based education continues to be the norm for children with special needs (CWSN) across the country even though the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (RPD) Act, 2016 came into force in 2017, which mandates that they be included in the regular education system.

According to child rights activists and the Special Educators’ Forum, there is no change in the manner in which inclusive education for children with special needs has been implemented. 

The National Policy on Education of 2016 has no structure to oversee the inclusion of children with special needs in the school system. There is no mechanism through which schools can draw on a pool of experts when needed.

What is required is a board for children with special needs from the state to the mandal level, to oversee the implementation of programmes for the kids.
There are more than 3,000 special schools in India, 900 for the hearing impaired, 400 for children with visual impairment, 700 for those with locomotor disabilities and 1,000 for the intellectually disabled. Besides, all government schools are supposed to be inclusive schools. 

Lawyer and child rights activist D.L. Sravan said the state and Central governments were not implementing the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (RPD) Act. “They are interested in giving the disabled pensions but not in empowering them by implementing the welfare laws enacted for them. It is unfortunate that even two years after the RPD Act was enacted, basic provisions of the Act have not been implemented.”

National convener of the Special Educators’ Forum, India, Kalpagiri Sreenu, said the Right to Education (RTE) Act of 2009 did a lot for education, “but in the case of inclusive education, there is a lot to do.”

He says to begin with “there is no clear-cut definition of ‘children with special needs’, or of ‘special teacher’, or ‘types of disability’ or ‘inclusive education for children with special needs’, or an agency to implement inclusive education.”

He says, “Children with disabilities continue to be amongst the most excluded and the tide is not changing fast enough. The biggest reason for this is that despite the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), and despite the fundamental Right to Education, our discourse on the education of children with disabilities has not changed. It has not been enriched by the guidance of the Convention and has therefore remained very narrow in scope.”

No focus on inclusive education in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh
The new Samagra Shiksha scheme, which was implemented in the 2018-19 academic year by the Union ministry of human resources development includes three schemes — Sarva Siksha Abhihyan (SSA), Rastriya Madhyamik Siksha Abhiyan (RMSA), and Teacher Education (TE). It makes no provision for inclusive education for children with special needs, according to the Special Educators’ Forum.

The admission of children with benchmark disability in regular scold across India remains low despite all these schemes. There is no focus on inclusive education in the two Telugu states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, say child rights activists and the Special Educators’ Forum.

Mr Kalpagiri Sreenu, national convener of the Special Educators’ Forum, India, said, “Though the implementation of inclusive education for the disabled is entrusted to centrally sponsored schemes under the HRD ministry, such as the Samagra Shiksha, Sarva Siksha Abhiyaan, and Inclusive Education for Disabled at Secondary Stage, the school education department has very little role to play.”

He said the school education department must play a strong role in every state. 

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Location: India, Telangana, Hyderabad




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