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Mumbai meet on ensuring quality education for disabled kids talks of future steps

May 3, 2018

Quality education is significant for every child, whether or not they have a disability.

However, the reality is that children with disabilities are often left out of school. The reasons range from lack of accessible infrastructure to sensitized teachers.

Over the last 50 years, NGO CBM India has been working towards building inclusive educational settings in India to ensure quality education for children with and without disabilities.

To share some of these learnings with partner organizations, CBM organized a Partners' Meet in Mumbai in April. Twenty-one partner organizations from 18 states in India came together for a discussion on making the education system in India more accessible for children with disabilities.

The two-day meet held discussions on the Open Basic Education (OBE) programme of the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS).

The OBE programme allows students to pursue education from classes 3, 5 and 8, while there is a separate NIOS program for Class 10 students.

OBE gives drop-out students an opportunity to gain knowledge equivalent to their peers and move into formal education.

A program that CBM initiated in partnership with Pratham led to the inclusion of around with disabilities, mainly intellectual disabilities, into mainstream schools.

CBM is also offering support in designing inclusive educational materials and training modules for parents of children with disabilities. This also involves providing vocational training to students with disabilities.

The meeting offered partner organizations a platform to register themselves for the OBE programme, which will enable them to support children with disabilities to access certified educational opportunities from the start of the next academic year.

NIOS materials were reviewed by the partners and an exposure visit was arranged to the schools where the program is implemented. A visit to the digital literacy unit led to greater understanding of how advanced technology can support both children with and without disabilities in receiving quality education.

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