Employment January 6, 2021
On Special Educators & Disability Component in Education: Response to SDMC Order
On Special Educators & Disability Component in Education:
Response to SDMC Order
The South Delhi Municipal Corporation Education Department has in its order of December 31, 2020 directed the Dy. Director of Education of all the four zones under its jurisdiction “to furnish the list of Primary Teachers who have been given training on special education to impart education to CWSN (Child with Special Need)”.
If the schools functioning under the SDMC’s education department have imparted such training to its teachers, it is a welcome development. This would be in partial compliance of Sec. 47 of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, which mandates “disability as a component” in courses for school teachers, amongst others. However, since there is no clarity on which authority has imparted the training and what was the module for the same, whether such a training has been beneficial to the concerned teachers and whether it would lead to a better understanding of the needs and methodologies of teaching children with disabilities remains a question.
However, the decision by the SDMC to deploy such teachers against “vacant posts of Special Educators” cannot be justified. There are 21 disabilities specified under the RPD Act and their needs and “reasonable accommodations” as mandated in the Act are diverse and in some cases diametrically opposite. The short-term courses that might presumably have been imparted to such teachers are no comparison to the Rehabilitation Council of India’s certified diploma courses in Special Education, which is a prerequisite for the post of Special Educator. That the outdated RCI courses come with their own set of problems is an entirely different matter.
Presumably, the South Delhi Municipal Corporation decision seems to have been prompted by the direction issued by Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva of the Delhi High Court on December 18, 2020 to the SCMC to send requisition of 1132 post of Special Educators to the Delhi Subordinate Services Selection Board within 4 weeks. This was in response to a PIL filed by Advocate Ashok Aggarwal on behalf of Social Jurist.
While training on disability and making it a component for teachers training is welcome, it needs to be underlined that they are not a replacement for special teachers. The SDMC would therefore be advised to withdraw the aforesaid order and instead comply with the directions issued by the Delhi High Court.
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