Chandigarh, May 28
The Education Department has formulated a draft policy that has been aimed at providing inclusive education to children with disabilities, in accordance with the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016. The policy outlines various provisions and initiatives to ensure that children with disabilities get quality education and equal opportunities throughout their academic journey.
Under the new policy, children with disabilities will be entitled to free education until they reach the age of 18. Additionally, provisions have been made to ensure admission without any discrimination in inclusive neighbourhood schools of their choice. The move is aimed at promoting inclusivity and enable children with disabilities to study alongside their peers.
Trained special educators
- Children with disabilities entitled to free education till age of 18
- To get transportation and escort allowance
- All school buildings, campuses must be made disabled-friendly
- Education Department plans one inclusive model school in each cluster
- Home-Based Education programme for children with severe disabilities
- At least one trained special educator per school
- Integrated BA, BEd programme in inclusive education
To further enhance opportunities for higher education, there will be 5% reservation for children with benchmark disabilities in Class XI and XII, in accordance with the provisions of the Right to Education Act, 2009, and Chapter 06, Clause 32 of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016.
Recognising the transportation challenges faced by children with special needs, the Education Department has allocated funds, in collaboration with the Government of India, to provide transportation and escort allowance to these students. This provision will extend to the children with disabilities covered under home-based education as well.
In order to cater to the unique needs of children with intellectual disabilities, the department will request the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to introduce skill-based vocational courses from Class VI onwards. These courses, with a focus on practical application rather than theory, are expected to provide a more learner-friendly curriculum to these students.
Ensuring accessibility, the policy emphasises all school buildings, campuses and facilities must be made disabled-friendly, taking into account structural and architectural feasibility. This step is aimed at creating an inclusive environment for all children with disabilities.
For effective identification and certification of children with disabilities, a comprehensive household survey will be conducted by mobilising resources from various departments. Through a common portal developed by the IT Department, information about identified children with special needs will be shared and made accessible to all stakeholders involved in their care.
To facilitate early identification and inclusive education, anganwari workers and teachers of pre-primary classes will receive training from the Education Department in collaboration with the Health Department. This training will focus on identifying children with disabilities until the age of six and will ensure the provision of qualitative inclusive education.
Furthermore, the Education Department plans to establish at least one inclusive model school in each cluster. These schools will feature integrated classrooms, trained special educators, therapists and barrier-free access.
For children with severe disabilities, who cannot commute or cope with the standard school curriculum, the department will implement a Home-Based Education programme. Under this programme, such children will be admitted to an integrated school setup. Special educators providing home-based education will also encourage monthly visits to neighbourhood schools, promoting inclusion and social interaction.
Addressing the need for trained special educators, the policy emphasises the provision of, at least, one trained special educator per school as per the guidelines of the CBSE. Funding for these educators will be sourced from state funds, Samagra Shiksha grants for government schools and school funds for private schools. The Chandigarh Administration plans to raise the issue during the next meeting of the Project Approval Board, Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), for the provision of funds in the coming academic year.
In an effort to enhance the skills of teachers in handling different disabilities, the policy suggests requesting the Rehabilitation Council of India to introduce an integrated BA, BEd programme in inclusive education.
Most Read In 24 Hours
Don't MissView All
India suspended visa issuance in Canada on security grounds, says MEA; asks Ottawa to cut staff strength in missions
Says Canada has provided no specific information regarding H...
India on Wednesday advised all its citizens living in Canada...
Sukhdool Singh alias Sukha Duneke, a gangster who escaped to...
Hindu body in Canada asks Public Safety Minister to treat Pa...
Goldy Brar is suspected to be a part of Khalistan movement i...