Teaching and learning system for disabled students

New Delhi: Department of School Education & Literacy is implementing the Centrally Sponsored Schemes of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) at elementary level and Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) at secondary level, whereby provision is made for inclusive education of children with special needs (CWSN), besides other components.

The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan is the main programme for universalising elementary education for all children between 6-14 years of age. Its overall goals include universal access and retention, bridging of gender and social category gaps in education and enhancement of learning levels of children. SSA focuses on providing inclusive education to CWSN, wherein children with and without disabilities participate and learn together in the same class. The major interventions for the education of CWSN are identification, functional and formal assessment, appropriate educational placement, preparation of Individualized Education Plan, provision of free aids and appliances, transport and/or escort support, teacher training, appointment of resource teachers, therapeutical support and barrier free access.

Under SSA, during the year 2017-18, 3762 assessment camps have been conducted, 65596 CWSN provided assistive devices, 16731 visually impaired children provided Braille Books and 37741 low vision children have been provided large print books, till 30.09.2017. Further, transport and escort support has been provided to 92539 and 75889 CWSN respectively. Therapeutical support has been provided to 137507 CWSN and 222602 teachers have been given training on curricular adaptations.

SSA provides approval @Rs. 3000/- per child per annum, of which at least Rs. 1000/- per child can be earmarked for engaging resource teachers exclusively for CWSN. SSA also has a provision of engagement of two resource persons per Block Resource Centre for CWSN. 18,934 such resource persons and resource teachers are currently engaged under SSA. These resource persons/teachers are technically qualified to teach CWSN.

The National Council of Educational Research & Training has developed exemplar material on curricular adaptations, inclusive teaching and how to adopt flexibility in evaluation for children with disabilities in inclusive classrooms. These handbooks, meant for primary and upper primary level teachers, cover all disabilities, including cognitive and intellectual disabilities, and have been disseminated to all States and UTs.

Under SSA, a series of five training modules has also been developed in collaboration with the World Bank. These modules aim to prepare teachers to work with children of all disabilities including children with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Deaf blindness and hearing impairment in mainstream inclusive environments.

At the secondary level, the Ministry is implementing the scheme of Inclusive Education for Disabled at Secondary Stage (IEDSS) as part of RMSA with an objective to provide all students with disabilities an opportunity to complete four years of secondary schooling (Class IX to XII) in an inclusive and enabling environment. Under IEDSS component, central assistance is provided for student oriented assistance @ 3000/- per child per annum, besides support for engagement of special teachers, equipping resource room, making school barrier free, orientation of parents, administrators, educationists etc.

This information was given by the Minister of State (HRD), Shri Upendra Kushwaha today in a written reply to a Rajya Sabha question.