Special Education in India
Providing access to basic education is a duty the Indian state that has taken upon itself. Therefore the government has taken various measures to provide access to education to all categories of students. Thus the differently able children are provided special education in India so that they can seriously engage in improving the quality of their life. With the advancement of technology, Special education in India for physically disabled or mentally challenged is also fast improving. But some recent research has thrown fresh insights on
Special education in India was present since the pre independence time, with very few schools or NGOs helping intellectually impaired children. Today India has come a long way and made a good progress in the field of disability rehabilitation. Presently India has four national institutes for effective implementation of this special education through various government schemes.
The popular national level institutes for disabled persons are the National institute for Hearing Handicapped, National Institute for the Mentally Handicapped, National Institute of the Visually Handicapped and National Institute for orthopedically handicapped. National Institute of Rehabilitation, Training and Research and The Institute for Physically Handicapped are other two national level institutes run by government. Moreover, government has initiated District Rehabilitation Centre (DRC) scheme in ten states to make all-inclusive rehabilitation. Moreover, four Regional Rehabilitation Training Centers are there to train the staff and teachers who work with these institutes.
Today due to global competitiveness, education scenario in India is fast changing. Along with that, special education is also catching importance and various government agencies are working hard to make it available to masses. There are almost 37 diploma courses in the field of special education in India some of the institutes offer courses like B.Ed as well. All these courses are regulated and governed by the Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI)- a legislative body under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
However over the years many scholars have questioned the importance of special education in India as they feel that it leads to segregation and isolation of the differently abled children. They argue that by segregating the children at young age the very purpose bringing all children to the mainstream of, the purpose of special education is defeated.
Therefore, to keep the special education at par with regular education, vocational courses are also initiated. Also, there has been a National Policy of Education, in which government has declared that education of children with gentle disabilities will be in regular schools. Due to such reforms and regulations, the quality and reach of special education in India has increased over the years giving new hopes and bright future for disabled.