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Developing schools without barriers

GS Paper 2

Syllabus: Social empowerment

 

Source: The Hindu

 Direction: Highlight issues and solutions that can be implemented to make schools inclusive for differently-abled children

 

Issues affecting children with disability/disabilities (CWD):

  • ‘State of the Education Report for India 2019: Children with Disabilities’ by UNESCOmentioned that CWD comprises 1.7% of the total child population in India (Census 2011).
  • Physical:
    • Inaccessible school buses
    • Inaccessible facilities in schools (drinking water facilities, canteens, and toilets)
    • Inappropriate infrastructure in classrooms (uncomfortable seating, slippery flooring, and low illumination)
  • Institutional: Lack of policy implementation by agencies
  • Social: Misinformed attitudes and perceptions among parents, teachers, staff, and communities
  • Communication barriers
  • Economic burden and lack of opportunities

 

 

Solutions to deal with these issues:

  • Policy level:
    • Actualizing the zero-rejection policy in schools (e.g., as is done in Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan)
    • Infrastructure should include: Equitability, Usability, Durability, Affordability, Cultural adaptability, and Aesthetic appeal
  • Institutional Level:
    • Awareness and sensitization programmes for children, parents, and caregivers
    • Training trainers for upskilling of school faculty and special educators
    • Technical training for local government departments
    • A co-learning platform for knowledge-sharing between all
  • Civil Society and organizations:
    • UN-Habitat India: ‘Leave No One Behind’ Project (main pillar of Accessible India Campaign (Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan))
  • ICT Solutions to Support Universal Design for Learning
  • Storybooks in local spoken and sign languages

 

Conclusion:

Developing inclusive and accessible schools will help challenge perceptions about children with disabilities and actualise the zero-rejection policy in schools

InstaCurious: 

The UN SDG 4 is to “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.

Insta Links:

Disability Right

 

Mains Links

Q. Unless there is educational inclusion of the disabled, the goal of inclusiveness and empowerment will remain elusive. Comment in light of recently released the draft of the national policy for persons with disabilities. (15M)