EDUCATION PROGRAMMES FOR CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS
The community at large is often unaware of the potential of children with special needs. In the popular mind, special needs are usually identified with very low expectations. Parent should believe in the value of educating children with special needs.The higher the expectations, the higher will be their acceptance in the family.All the children with special needs must be enrolled in primary schools. After the assessment of their disabilities by a team of a doctor, a psychologist, and a special educator, in schools, the child will be placed in appropriate educational settings. Children with mild and moderate disabilities of any kind may be integrated in normal schools, severe in special schools/ remedial schools, drop outs who have problems in availing benefits of normal schools can join open schools. All the children with learning disabilities alone are first managed in the normal schools. Open and special schools also offer vocational courses also for children with disabilities.
Formal Schools– The Ministry of Human Resource Development (Department of Secondary and Higher Education) has been implementing a scheme of ‘Integrated Education for the Disabled Children’ (IEDC) in formal schools since 1982. The main objective of the scheme is to provide educational opportunities for the disabled children in normal schools so as to facilitate their retention in the school system. The disabled children who are placed in special schools should be considered for integration into common schools once they acquire the communication and daily living skills at a functional level.
The following types of children with disabilities must be integrated in the normal school system- formal as well as in non- formal schools.
– Children with locomotor handicaps (O.H.)
– Mildly and moderately hearing impaired
– Partially sighted children
– Mentally handicapped educable group (IQ 50-70)
– Children with multiple handicaps ( blind and orthopaedic, hearing impaired and orthopaedic, educable mentally retarded and orthopaedic, visual impaired and mild hearing impaired)
A three- member assessment team comprising of a doctor, a psychologist and a special educator is formed and their assessment report recommends whether a child can
be enrolled directly into a normal school or should receive preparation in a special school/ or a special preparatory class in Early Childhood Education Centre(ECCE)
specially equipped for this purpose.
Under the IEDC scheme, resources and itinerant teachers are provided. Children are also given certain incentives like book allowance, equipment allowance, transport-
Integrated Education for Disabled Children (IEDC) in District Primary Education Programme(DPEP)
The DPEP which was launched in 1994, aims at Universalisation of Primary Education (UPE) and is operational in 271 districts in the country. Its aim can not be achieved until and unless 10% of children with special needs are integrated in the education system. With this aim, since 1998, IEDC programme has been receiving special emphasis under DPEP and endeavouring to integrate children with disabilities in DPEP primary schools. DPEP supports for the activities like community mobilization and early detection, in service teacher training, resource support, educational aids and appliances, architectural designs in schools, etc. Childern with
learning disabilities also get special care in primary schools under DPEP. In the other non DPEP districts the same IEDC activities will be supported by the programme of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) which has recently been approved.
Earlier, there were no activities for children with learning disabilities under the programme of IEDC. Estimates of prevalence rate of children with learning disabilities
seem to be very high, ranging from 1-30% in the ‘school population’ depending on the criteria used to determine the disability. Some studies estimate the prevalence of learning disabilities to be 7-8% whereas others indicate a prevalence rate of 15% in the general population.
FOR MORE DETAILS CONTACT:
For Secondary Classes:
District: District Education Officer
State: Secretary or Director, Secondary & Higher Education
Centre: Joint Secretary (IEDC)
Department of Secondary & Higher Education
Ministry of HRD
New Delhi –110 001.
For Primary and Upper Primary Classes:
District : District Education Officer
State : Secretary or Director, Elementary Education
Centre : Joint Secretary
Department of Elementary Education & Literacy
Ministry of HRD
New Delhi –110 001.