State prepares draft policy for education of special kids

Suggestions invited from every district

As a part of the Right of children To free and compulsory Education (RTE) Act 2009, the State government has prepared a draft policy on education of children with special needs (CWSN) and has invited suggestions from each district. 

The main objective of the draft policy is to improve the education system for the children with special needs. It would ensure inclusive educatiJune 13, 2014, DHNS:on system at all levels, giving equal opportunity without any discrimination. The objective of the draft policy is that all special children should have access to general education system. This policy frame work is set in the background of Right to People with Disabilities Bill 2011, which is awaiting approval in the Parliament. 

According to the special survey conducted under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) Karnataka in 2011, disabilities in children were measured in nine categories like visual impaired, hearing impaired, speech impaired, orthopaedic impaired, multiple disability, mentally retarded, learning disability, cerebral palsy and autism spectrum disorder. A total of 16,741 children were identified as CWSN in the below six years category. In the age group of 6-14, the number of children were 1,47,999, in the age group of 14-18, the number of children were 48,118. A total of 2,12 858 CWSN were identified in the State. Old policies, problems 

The education department is providing a few facilities to CWSN through SSA. It includes inclusive education (in primary), integrated education for challenged children in secondary schools (IEDSS), Rashtriya Madhyamika Shikshana Abhiyana (RMSA), special schools. 

However, there were several drawbacks in the existing policy. There is no convergence with departments and NGOs. There is no vision or road map for the effective implementation of related strategies. There is no specific child centric programme for CWSN. It had not made arrangement for the vocational training centres for CWSN, said an official. 

Suggestions 

The department of public instructions of DK district has suggested for developing an evaluation tool depending on the kind of disability at the state-level. The State government should encourage special BEd for teachers teaching children with special needs. The government should also give special incentives for special BEd graduates.

 The district officials also stressed on compulsory promotion upto 10th standard based on Individualised Education Programme (IEP) and convergence with the Red Cross. 

District SSA Project Co-ordinator Shivaprakash said that transport facilities should be fixed according to distance. There should be a speech therapist at taluk-level and infrastructure should be developed for speech therapy. 

There is a need to set up a separate cell in SSLC Board for differently abled students and should have evaluation curriculum frame work at different level. There is a need for amendment to SDMC by law to include parents of CWSN in the SDMCs. There is a need for sports policy for the CWSN, he added. 

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