No special teachers for mentally challenged kids, parents move HC

No special teachers for mentally challenged kids, parents move HC

 The absence of special educators in government and municipal corporation schools has again come to the fore with parents of two mentally challenged students approaching the Delhi High Court, saying their children have “not learnt anything”.

Mamta and her husband Shyam Nandan sell vegetables in Katwaria Sarai in south Delhi. Their two sons – both mentally challenged to varying degrees – have studied at government and municipality-run schools for years, but have “learnt nothing” as the schools have no educators for students with special needs.

While nine-year-old Shubham, a student of class 4 at South Delhi Municipal Corporation's primary school in Katwaria Sarai, suffers 50 per cent mental retardation, Satyam, 16, is 75 per cent challenged and left school when he was in class 6 at Government Boys Senior Secondary School.

“Satyam was not learning anything in school despite being in it for years. There was no homework given to him. When we approached the school they said they cannot take care of our kids as they don't have teachers who will teach them in a way they will understand,” said Mamta.

According to official figures, around 20,000 children with disabilities are enrolled in the 1,000 state government schools and 1,800 municipal schools in Delhi. A 2009 Delhi High Court order directed the government and the municipal authorities to appoint at least two special educators in each of their schools.

Evaluation programme

Last year, the CBSE had also mandated all its affiliated schools to appoint such teachers and to create an evaluation programme for differently abled students, based on their abilities and skill sets.
However, years later, many government schools have no special educators. The SDMC has only 16 special educators for their 570 schools, East Corporation has 30 for 365 schools and North Corporation has about 35 for 720 schools. 

The parents had also approached Prime Minister Narendra Modi and
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in August but got no response.

“My two sons are not accepted by any school due to their mental inability and they are treated within the society as a source of entertainment and outcasts. People in society used to shame them and make fun of them and being a hapless mother I cannot do anything,” the letter said.

It asked for names of some schools, with facilities offered by the government, which could accept them.

The parents have now approached All India Parents Association run by advocate-activist Ashok Agarwal.

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