KOZHIKODE: It was very recently that the Kerala State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (KeSCPCR) ordered the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) to ensure proper education and timely intervention for the growth of students with disabilities. But neglecting the order, the state government has acted tough on these children, by cutting short of the number of teachers training the children with special needs. At present, the state has allotted only 795 teacher posts for around one lakh children. The government issued the order on March 31 to cut the number of teachers, a majority of them appointed on contract.
“The government is neglecting these children with special needs, which is evident from the way they have gradually reduced the number of teachers citing a liability,” Noushad Thekkayil, a social activist, said. “Timely training and switching to an ambience of a school where they can be taken care of by a teacher will help in improving their condition. Hence the need for a teacher is compulsory.”
“At present, there are many panchayats in the district that do not have even one teacher. As per the guidelines of the education department, trainers need to visit a child with special needs twice a week. But due to the shortage, one teacher is not able to cover a lot of children in two days,” he pointed out. N. Rohit, 13, who has cerebral palsy is the happiest when at school, which is located few kilometres away from his house. “There has been a considerable change in his motor abilities after two years of formal education,” said his mother. “Even though he is mostly wheelchair-bound, I can see him happier when he gets to meet his friends and teachers, now if the government takes way these trainers, parents like me will see the worst of their kids.”