New Delhi: Ministry of Education organized a webinar on Inclusive and Equitable Education under Shikshak Parv Initiative here today. Ms. Anita Karwal, Secretary, D/o SE&L, Shri Santosh Kumar Yadav, Joint Secretary, D/o SE&L, Shri Maneesh Garg, Joint Secretary, D/o SE&L, Shri Vipin Kumar, Joint Secretary, D/o SE&L, Professor Hrushikesh Senapaty- Director, NCERT were present on the occasion. Prof. Anita Julka, NCERT, Prof. Smriti Swaroop, NCERT, Prof. Anupam Ahuja, NCERT, Prof. Vimmi Singh, NCERT and Prof. E Suresh, Vice- Chancellor, The English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad and other experts from higher education gave a detailed presentation on Inclusive and Equitable Education during the webinar.
During the webinar, experts from NCERT spoke about the National Education Policy 2020 that encapsulates the education of children with special needs as part of the underrepresented groups in education like girls, children belonging to scheduled caste communities, children from tribal communities and other backward classes etc. It was further stated that the policy emphasizes the following areas such as inclusion of children with special needs in neighborhood schools from preschool to class XII, specific financial support to schools and school complexes as well as establishment of resource centers for learners with severe or multiple disabilities, barrier free access, Provision for appropriate and specific support for learners like assistive devices, Braille books and large print books etc., support to research and development of such tools and devices, Home-based education for children with severe and profound disabilities & wide-scale dissemination of learning materials, collaborations with NGOs & VOs for interventions like identification and assessment as well as community mobilization, Open schooling for learners with hearing impairment, Appointment of special educators at the ‘school complex’ level and cross-disability training to address the educational needs of all learners, including CWSN in home-based education programme, Scholarships for talented and meritorious CWSN at the secondary level.
In the webinar, further the stress during the presentation was given on The Indian Sign Language (ISL) which is a sign language that is predominantly used in South Asian countries. There are many special features present in ISL that distinguish it from other Sign Languages. Features like Number Signs, Family Relationship, use of space etc. are crucial features of ISL. Also, ISL does not have any temporal inflection.
NCERT also informed about the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) that can be used in classrooms for inclusive instruction of general education and special education students, allowing general education students access to multiple ways of learning and creating a greater sense of belonging for students with special needs.