Children with special needs have to clear roadblocks for admissions into schools
According to the Right to Education Act, children with disabilities that comes under the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 can get free education in government and private schools across India. But are our government and private schools inclusive? Reports point out that India has a long way when it comes to implementing this!
Recently, the Punjab state education department sent out a circular to all schools regarding this. The circular mentioned that school authorities are stressing on various demands and conditions before admitting a child with special needs. Some principals even de-motivate students and ask them not to join! This is mainly seen for admissions to higher secondary classes.
Dr Neelam Sodhi, co-founder of the NGO Ashirwad in Ludhiana feels that sometimes it is best that a disabled child does not sit in a class with other children who have no disabilities.
Subhashini Rao is the co-founder of Sankalp Special School in Chennai. This NGO primarily works in empowering children with special needs. Subhashini mentions that both in South and North Indian schools, inclusion are a still a distant dream.
Usually, a child with special needs takes a longer time to cope up with academics and activities when compared to a child with no disability. Hence, they are repeatedly failed when their friends move on to higher classes. This only makes the child feel upset. How is this helping the child? Sometimes I feel that it is best that a school refuses to admit a disabled child if they realise that they do not have the resources for it- Dr Neelam Sodhi, co-founder, Ashirwad.
Debates regarding admitting a child with special needs along with children who have no disabilities are going on. But are we really doing justice to disabled children by doing so?
We are an NGO that works only for children with special needs. We need funds to carry on with our day to day activities. We have kind hearted donors to help us run the school. Most of the schools are hesitant to admit disabled children because they have to adhere to certain things including a 100 percentage pass! Hence, admitting a child with special needs can be risky. They need to follow a strict curriculum and they have no extra time to spend on a child with special needs. After all, we are in a rat race!- Subhashini, Co-founder, Sankalp Special School.