Children with disabilities battle challenges at multiple levels to access a decent education
Be it lack of ramps and tactile pathways, students with disabilities in Delhi battle many challenges in their quest for an education.
Kids with disabilities struggle for qualified teachers, accessible schools
This is despite the Right to Education (RTE) Act, 2009, that provides for children with disabilities access to mainstream education. Under RTE, one-fourth of seats in public schools are set aside for students coming from economically weaker sections and those with special needs.
There is a huge shortage of special educators in schools who can meet their needs, the lack of infrastructure support, the stigma and the poor awareness levels. There is also uncertainty whether their needs can be met with in a mainstream schooling system.
Very few schools in Delhi have full-time special educators to cater to children who may have a range of impairments. Less than 600 full-time posts of the 2,691 sanctioned have been filled so far.
Experts say that even one special educator in every school can help in creating more inclusive classrooms. In Delhi government schools, around 500-600 special educators have been given training across different fields so they can help children.