Opportunities of Education for the Disabled Children
The Right of Children to Free & Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009 came into force w.e.f. 1st April, 2010. The RTE Act provides for free and compulsory education to children including children with disabilities as mentioned in Persons with...
The Right of Children to Free & Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009 came into force w.e.f. 1st April, 2010. The RTE Act provides for free and compulsory education to children including children with disabilities as mentioned in Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) (PwD) Act, 1995 and the National Trust for the Welfare of Persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities Act, 1999 namely, i) Blindness, ii) Low vision, iii) Leprosy cured, iv) Hearing impairment, v) Locomotor disabilities, vi) Mental retardation, vii) Mental Illness, viii) Autism, and ix) Cerebral Palsy, and eventually covers Speech impairment, Learning Disabilities, etc. in the age group of 6-14 years at elementary level in a neighbourhood school. The Government has also aligned the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) norms with the provisions of Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009. Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan ensures that every child with special needs, irrespective of the kind, category and degree of disability, is provided meaningful and quality education. Hence, SSA has adopted a zero rejection policy. This means that no child having special needs should be deprived of the right to education and taught in an environment, which is best, suited to his/her learning needs.
SSA provides upto Rs. 3000 per child for the inclusion of disabled children, as per specific proposal, per year. District plan for children with special needs is formulated within the Rs. 3000 per child norm, with Rs. 1000 earmarked exclusively for engagement of resource teachers. The interventions under SSA for inclusive education are identification, functional and formal assessment, appropriate educational placement, preparation of Individualised Educational Plan, provision of aids and appliances, teacher training, resource support, removal of architectural barriers, research, monitoring and evaluation and a special focus on girls with special needs.
The Scheme of Inclusive Education for Disabled at Secondary Stage (IEDSS) was launched in 2009-10 replacing the earlier scheme of Integrated Education for Disabled Children (IEDC). It provides assistance for the inclusive education of the disabled children in classes IX-XII. The aim of the Scheme is to enable all students with disabilities, after completing eight years of elementary schooling, to pursue further four years of secondary schooling (classes IX to XII) in an inclusive and enabling environment. The scheme covers all children passing out of elementary schools and studying at secondary and higher secondary stage in Government, local body and Government-aided schools, with one or more disabilities as defined under the PwD Act, 1995 and the National Trust for the Welfare of Persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities Act, 1999.
The components of the scheme include : i) assessment of medical / educational needs, ii) provision of student specific facilities, iii) development of learning material, iv) support services like special educators, v) construction and equipping of resource rooms, vi) training of general school teachers to build their capacity to fulfill the needs of children with special needs vii) make schools barrier free. Setting up of Model inclusive schools in every State is also envisaged. Girls with disabilities receive special focus and efforts made under the scheme to help them gain access to secondary schools, as also to information and guidance for developing their potential. There is a provision of a monthly stipend of Rs.200/- for the disabled girls.
Central assistance for all items covered in the scheme is on 100 per cent basis. The School Education Department of the State Governments/ Union Territory Administrations is the implementing agency. They may involve Non Governmental Organisations having experience, in the field of education of the disabled, in the implementation of the scheme.
Under the National Scholarship Scheme which is funded from Trust Fund for Empowerment of PwDs financial assistance is provided to students with disabilities to enable them to pursue professional or technical courses from recognized institutes and get employed/self employed. Under the Scheme every year 1000 scholarships are provided to the students with disabilities throughout the country. 30% scholarships are reversed for girls. Only Indian nationals are eligible for scholarships.
The National Sample Survey conducted by SRI-IMRB in 2009, it is estimated that there are 81 lakh children, who are out-of-school. This represents 4.28% of the total child population in the 6-13 age group. The SRI-IMRB survey of 2009 has also estimated that there were 28.97 lakh children with disabilities, representing 1.52% of the total child population. Of children with disabilities, 34.12% children are estimated to be out-of-school. (PIB Features)