Volume 3 Issue 14 - July 15, 2005

Disability activist Javed Abidi nominated to Central Advisory Board of Education (C.A.B.E.)

DNIS News Network - In a major victory for the disability sector in India, leading activist and Executive Director, National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (N.C.P.E.D.P.), Javed Abidi has been nominated to the Central Advisory Board of Education (C.A.B.E.), the highest body to advise the Central and State Governments in the field of education.

His nomination brings cheer to the ongoing campaign for Inclusive Education to ensure equal opportunities for children and youth with disabilities in the mainstream educational structure.

Picture of Mr Abidi who has been nominated to CABE

The nomination of Abidi, by Minister for Human Resource Development Arjun Singh needs to be seen in the context of the movement in the past year toward Inclusive Education. On 21 March 2005, Singh had tabled a ‘Comprehensive Plan of Action for Inclusive Education of Children and Youth with Disabilities’ in the Rajya Sabha, making the idea of Inclusive Education a buzzword for the education sector.

Further, Abidi’s nomination also highlights a significant change in the focus of C.A.B.E., and a move in the direction of making the premier body more representative. Recently, the Hon’ble Minister, referring to C.A.B.E., said: “Unfortunately, for some reason, this premier body of inter-State consultation went into disuse, which I personally feel, deprived the educational initiatives both the necessary legitimacy as also proper perspectives of both the Centre and the States. This led to arbitrariness and intellectual dishonesty.”

Speaking at the 51st meeting of the National Development Council, Arjun Singh also highlighted that, “There can be no monopoly and no single individual or group that can claim to have exclusive monopoly over how the education process in a country like India should be carried out.”

This nomination of a representative from the disability sector is definitely a step in the direction of not only making the body more representative but also a credible step for initiating a serious discourse on Inclusive Education at the highest level.

Javed Abidi was appointed a few months back to the Council of National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration (N.I.E.P.A.). He is also an Executive Committee member of the National Mission for the Sarva Siksha Abhiyan (S.S.A.).

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