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Education Audit shows up lack of facilities for students with disabilities

DNIS News Network - An education audit carried out by National Centre For the Promotion of Employment for Disabled People has drawn attention to the appalling lack of facilities for students with disabilities.

Until now, no systematic survey has been carried out on the issue. NCPEDP sought to redress the situation by sending a comprehensive questionnaire to all 322 Universities in India. Out of those, 119 institutions responded. Many notable centres, including Delhi University, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, Indira Gandhi National Open University, New Delhi, Bangalore University, Karnataka, University of Calcutta, West Bengal and University of Calicut, Kerala were among those that failed to respond.

The 119 Universities surveyed have between them enrolled just 1,635 students with disabilities. With an estimated 6 per cent of young people in India going to Universities, it could be expected that there would about 3,60,000 students with disabilities. However, if the respondents are taken as representatives of all universities in India, the results showed the stark reality that the figure is less than 4,000.

Javed Abidi, Executive Director of NCPEDP slammed the results, saying: "This provides conclusive proof that disabled students are still being excluded from the present education system".

The findings came out in an interim report from NCPEDP. The full results of the 2004 Education Audit will be published next month.