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R.T.E. impact: Rajasthan sets up resource centres for disabled children

D.N.I.S. News Network, India: With the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act (R.T.E. Act) coming into effect, the needs of disabled children are coming into focus. Having decided to implement R.T.E. Act aggressively, Rajasthan Government has decided to set up resource centres for barrier-free learning.

The State Government has already set up one resource centre for disabled children up to the age of 14 in all 249 blocks. Each resource centre has three specially trained resource persons and two helpers. The Education Department conducts camps and surveys in every district where disabled children are identified and their needs are assessed. The Department has broadly categorized disabled children as those with:

1. hearing impairment

2. visual impairment

3. multiple disabilities

4. mental retardation

As per available data, Jaipur district has 17,000 disabled children who are attended to in 18 resource centres across the district. For two days in a week, parents bring their children to these schools for special teaching. These children are provided meals under the Mid Day Meal scheme and their parents are given transportation allowance. The resource centres are funded by the Ministry of Human Resource Development and provide hearing aids, special shoes and other tools for the development and benefit of disabled children. The syllabus is flexible and evaluation techniques are such that disabled children are given extra time to learn. They are also provided with calculators, abacus, Braille, slant board and pencil grips.