Volume 6 Issue 1 - June 15, 2009

No teacher for 10,000 disabled children in the capital

D.N.I.S. News Network, India: Delhi has over 10,000 disabled students in government and M.C.D. schools but not a single teacher for them! This glaring fact came to light after the government filed a status report in the Delhi High Court.

In October 2008, the Delhi High Court had sought school-wise, class-wise and disability-wise details about physically disabled students in Government schools and schools run by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi. This direction was in reply to a P.I.L. filed by a non-government organisation alleging that there was absence of trained teachers for physically disabled students in schools run by the government and M.C.D.

None of the 650 Delhi government schools or 1,800 M.C.D. schools employ any teacher specially trained to teach 10,065 disabled students. This despite a government report stating that the posts of special educators were advertised almost six months back on December 26, 2008.

If we follow a 1:5 ratio, it means around 1,505 special educators are needed for the 7,523 special students in government schools and around 417 for the 2,987 students in M.C.D. run schools.

Not a single educator, not a single facility is in place for disabled students; leave alone any infrastructure in these schools. We have to start from scratch, a Division Bench led by Chief Justice A.P. Shah observed after reading the government report in open court. Interestingly, the government agrees with the court while quoting that an ideal situation would be having a special teacher in every school that disabled children are enrolled in.

A training programme for orienting 51,000 teachers in inclusive education and various issues related to children with disabilities in May and June 2009 remains a non-starter. The reason, the government says, was that teachers were deployed for the Lok Sabha elections.

The N.C.P.E.D.P. Survey in 2004 reported that only 1.2 percent of the disabled children or youth in India had any form of education. With the kind of neglect that disabled students in the nations capital are facing, this percentage is not likely to improve anytime soon.

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