D.N.I.S. News Network- Even as the Indian Government prepares a policy for making schooling in India inclusive, not only are more and more disabled students enrolling in open schools but they are also matching the academic performance of their non-disabled peers.
This was revealed by the National Institute of Open Schooling (N.I.O.S.), based upon admission data for the past five years. The most interesting and telling aspect of the data is that disabled students with both orthopedic and mental disabilities are performing as well as their non-disabled counterparts.
In 2000-01, only 696 disabled students were enrolled at the secondary level across the country. By the next year, this figure went up to 1,250, and by 2004-05 there were 3,051 enrollments at the secondary level. In Delhi, 415 students enrolled the same year.
The average percentage of student who have got their certificates in the past five years, has been 25 per cent at the secondary level, and 23 per cent at the senior secondary level — equal to that of other students.
"Not only their end-of-year performances, but also their response to teaching methods and interaction with other students has been encouraging," D Singh Bist, Secretary of N.I.O.S. was quoted as saying in a media report.
In a related news, I.C.S.E. has allowed children with disabilities to use computers while appearing for Class X and XII examinations. Visually impaired children will also be able to use computers and Braille keyboard for examinations. The decision by the Council for Indian School Certificate Examination (C.I.S.C.E.) that coordinates I.C.S.E. examinations in India will come into force in 2006.