Inclusive Education: In view of the fact that children with disabilities form one of the largest groups that are still outside the fold of the general education system, the scheme provides an opportunity for children with disabilities, who have completed eight years of elementary education to continue their education in regular schools at the secondary level in inclusive environment. The scheme mainly constitutes two types of components viz:
- Student oriented components
- Other components (those relating to infrastructure, teacher, awareness generation etc.).
Coverage of CWSN in Secondary Education: As per States’ survey the number of CWSN covered under IEDSS scheme during 2009-10 to 2013-14. As per UDISE and SEMIS data, in that table indicates an overall increase in the enrolment of CWSN from 2009 to 2014, except in the year 2011-12 which shows slight decrease in the enrolment of CWSN. The reason for a dip seems to be as issue with data. As per 2013-14 data, of the total students enrolled in secondary education, only 1.07% of students are CWSN. This is quite low as against the % of disabled population to the total population as per census 2011.
Current Challenges & Issues for Inclusive Education: Major challenges and issues in the education of CWSN at secondary level in the country w.r.t education of children with special needs in respect of states / UTs are as under-
- Lack of Resource Teachers and therapists.
- Lack of trained teachers on all disabilities.
- Gap between the students passing out of elementary classes and enrolling in secondary schools.
- Child Tracking System needs to be developed.
- Low enrolment of CWSN Girls
- Lack of proper and systematic supervision and monitoring system at state and District level
- Lack of specialists and Therapists in the states.
- Slow development of Inclusive Model schools in states. Barrier free environment are not appropriate and as per the norms.
- Non representation of CWSN parents and Special Teacher in SMDC.
- Lack of sufficient well equipped Resource Rooms.
Planning for Inclusive Education: The goal of the Inclusive Education at Secondary level is to reduce the gap in the enrolment, retention, completion rates and achievement levels of children with respect to gender and socially advantaged groups. The inclusion of CWSN has to be seen in terms of physical access, social access and quality of access
Identification and Mapping of CWSN: As per the census data 2.13 % of the population are differently abled population. UDISE data at present indicate only1.07% of the students fall under this category. This points towards the under assessment of CWSN. Therefore, intensive identification must be given due importance. The state must give thrust for identification of left out CWSN by involving SMDC and also with the help of NGO working in the district/state. This must include training of the surveyors, enumerators and other government functionaries at different levels. Identification/mapping children with special needs is a part of micro planning and household surveys. A massive survey and household survey should be undertaken with the help of SSA teachers, NGOs, social welfare department, school readiness programme and Medical Assessment camps. To increase the enrolment of CWSN at Secondary school, counselling and Guidance session for the students and parents of class VIII may be organised during awareness programme launched in the state.
Assessment of CWSN: Assessment of all CWSN entering the class IX must be carried out to ascertain the development level of the child, the nature of support services, assistive devices required and the most appropriate form of special training to be given to the child. Thereafter students with certain types of disabilities like MI, MR, Autism, etc. should be assessed periodically. The assessment professional team may include an interdisciplinary expert team of special educators, clinical psychologists, therapists, doctors and any other professional support based on the students’ needs to ensure quality of assessment. Assessment should also be done to identify the educational needs of CWSN. States may also seek the assistance of NGOs in carrying out assessment.
Enrolment of Girls: In order to cover and enrol more CWSN girls and retain them in the Secondary classes, the State Govt. has undertaken major steps through massive social drives in the local community involving the community leaders and the Headmaster playing a leadership role by making parents aware of the provisions in the Scheme with regard to availability of Gender sensitive interventions like availability of transport, helper support, secure environment, disabled friendly separate toilets for Girls, residential facilities ,transport & escort allowance and stipends to girl’s students.
Aids and Appliances: Based on assessment, all children requiring assistive devices should be provided with aids and appliances procured in convergence with the Ministry of MoSJE, State Welfare Departments, National Institutions, and ALIMCO, voluntary organisations or NGOs.
Removal of Architectural Barriers: With the subsuming of IEDSS under RMSA as its component, the civil component of IEDSS has since been excluded from IEDSS and a comprehensive programme for removal ofArchitectural barriers has been subsumed with other civil works to promote inclusion of CWSN. Efforts have been madeto provide all kinds of disabled friendly facilities in school. An enabling environment must be designed by not only through ramps but accessible classroom, hostels, laboratories, playgrounds and toilets. Norms of MS&J must be followed strictly and accurately. Development of innovative designs for schools to provide an enabling environment for CWSN should also be a part of the programme.
NIOS: Collaboration with NIOS / SOS and NGO (as the case may be) at state level for CWSN to complete secondary education. The provisions for CWSN for open schooling education are -:
1.Fee concession to the extent of 50% for CWSN.
- A distance learner is registered for a period of five years in which a candidate gets nine chances to appear in a given course/programme.
- CWSN can appear in one/two subjects at a time as per his/her preparation. Credit is accumulated till a candidate successfully completes the requirement of a course.
- Study-centres are taken as examination centre.
- General and specific relaxations (Disability wise) during examination. Amanuensis are given as per disability wise
- Flexibility in selecting examination dates.
- Flexibility in choice of subjects.
- There is no age limitation for admission in NOS programmes.
NIOS has also developed educational materials for teaching children with special needs in their own homes.The state Co-ordinator at the state level should work as a nodal officer for linking with NIOS for completion of secondary education. The NIOS also provides the programme on Open Basic Education for Universal Elementary Education (UEE), which includes programme for the disabled children.
Quality Access to CWSN: A wide range of approaches, options and strategies may be adopted for the education of children with special needs in secondary education. This includes:
Support Services- A continuum of core essential support services is required for the access and retention of CWSN. The services should be category specific and should be made available as per the needs of the child. This would include availability and upgrading of aids and assistive devices according to individual needs, technological support in the form of augmentative and alternative communication tools, audio visual, communication board, and computer access. The maximum support services should be provided in the case of disabled student.
Curriculum Adaptation- Curriculum adaptation should be made an important part of all teachers training programmes on inclusive education. For inclusive teaching, it is vital that adaptation of the curriculum is carried out to meet individual needs of children with disabilities.
Teacher Training- Investment in teacher training is another key to success of education of children with disabilities. Both pre-service and in-service training need to be given special attention to building capacity of teachers for addressing the needs of children with disabilities. While NCTE deals with general education courses which have an optional paper on special education, Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI) runs special education courses which focus on specific disabilities. Lack of specialised personnel can only be met if general education courses are reformed and it is ensured that all teachers are able to address diversity in the classrooms. In service training to general teachers for adaptations to teach CWSN should be the main focus area because of the shortage of sufficient special educators in the states.The process for selection of more specialised teachers as approved by PAB should be initiated. Till date, the state may accomplish the task of fulfilling gaps so that sufficient special educators could be positioned. The state could train the teachers under induction programme and refresher programme.
Resource Support- Resource teachers from different disability and Therapists (speech and Physiotherapist) may be deployed at Block/cluster level based on the number of CWSN in the ratio of 1:5.They can be appointed as Key Resource Persons who can work with group of general teachers in Secondary and senior secondary classes. General teachers are there to teach specific subjects. Each Resource Teacher should be specialized in a particular disability such as vision, hearing impairment, learning difficulties, mental retardation etc. These set of resource teachers may be attached to the school with resource room/ resource room established at block level (BRC) and multi-category training should be provided to all these Resource teachers. These resource teachers can operate in an itinerant mode covering all schools in the Block/cluster where CWSN are enrolled. Resource teachers must be recruited before the beginning of the academic session to support the general teachers in classroom transaction for teaching CWSN.
Resource Room may include
- Academic Lab
- Low vision Lab
- Sound Proof Room
- Therapeutic Room
- ICT Room and Classroom
- Special Teaching Learning Materials
The following activities can be carried out in a Resource Room:
- Identifying learning needs of children, functional assessment in terms of identifying the strengths and weaknesses, developing teaching plan for an inclusive classroom.
- Use teaching techniques like multi-media, peer teaching, collaborative teaching, team teaching, Use of VAKT, Group/cooperative/collaborative learning, child-to-child learning, Activity based learning.
- Development of inclusive TLMs (Tactile, 3D multisensory approaches Induction loop system, AAC etc.)
Curricular Access: The curriculum must be inclusive as envisioned in NCF 2005. It should be ensured that the same curriculum for CWSN is followed but with minor adaptations like small changes in learning content, learning friendly environment, appropriate learning approach, adaption in learning aids, flexibility in evaluation etc. It would be important to provide textbooks and curriculum in accessible formats for CWSN.
Vocational Education: Skill development and vocational education can be imparted to CWSN as per their special ability &need, appropriate infrastructure and availability of Resource Person. Independent living is the ultimate goal of education for children with disabilities.
Building synergy with special schools, National Institutes and NGOs- Special schools to become resource centres for inclusive education and provide support to IE. The nature of this resource support can cover aspects like tracking of CWSN passing out of elementary classes including drop outs, development of teacher training programme in inclusive schooling, capacity building and empowerment of professional development, vocational training, material and appropriate TLMs, providing support services to CWSN, assessment and identification, educational assessment tools, conducting awareness programmes etc. In this backdrop, concerned NGOs and SMDC may be associated.
- National institutes that work in this field are
- National Institute of Occupational Health(NIOH),
- National Institute for the Mentally Handicapped (NIMH),
- National Institute for the Visually Handicapped (NIVH),
- Ali Yavar Jung National Institute for the Hearing Handicapped (AYJNIHH),
- National Institute for empowerment of Persons with Multiple Disabilities (NIEPMD),
- All India Institute of Speech and Hearing (AIISH)
Collaboration with the Institutes in the states (SCERT, DIET, NIPCCD etc.) may be done for modification of book, Curriculum adaptation, preparation of modules for teacher training, monitoring, translation of books in regional languages.
Supervision and Monitoring-Every state must develop a mechanism for supervision and monitoring of the implementation of the activities till the grass root level for better co-ordination, as inspection by central and state officials, reporting monthly by District Co-ordinator, monitoring format may be developed at state level and quarterly review meeting at District, State & National Level with field visits to the schools for handholding the schools.SMDC has been associated as per RMSA norms to oversee the aspects of CWSN also.
Research & Evaluation- Research in states may be done on reasons of drop out at secondary stage, use of ICT, teaching learning methodology, poor enrolment of girls or study the practice of other states which are effectively implementing the scheme. RMSA will encourage research in all areas of education of CWSN including research for designing and developing new assistive devices, teaching aids, special teaching material and other items necessary to give a child with disability equal opportunity in education.
Social Access to CWSN- Ensuring social access is a great challenge, Orientation & Sensitization of School Principals, staff Parental Awareness & community mobilisation and peer sensitization. Awareness & sensitization programme should be organized for parents, community and peer group through awareness camps, Inclusive State Convention, Inclusive Rally, posters on all disabilities with positive messages and celebration of World Disabled day, Louis Braille Day, etc.
GAMES AND SPORTS ACTIVITIES FOR CWSN STUDENTS CARRIED OUT IN KERALA: Special competition programme were conducted in different levels like school, district and state level for CWSN in games like Cricket, Football, Volleyball, High jump, long jump, swimming etc. They are awarded certificates, cash prizes, trophies, etc. on the basis of their performance.
Convergence between IE SSA & IEDSS in Haryana: Several activities are conducted under Inclusive Education through convergence mode. Pravesh Utsav is one of the Innovative activities celebrated to maximise identification and enrolment of CWSN and girl child so that the objective of zero rejection policy can be achieved.