The Chandigarh Education department has identified 212 children,suffering from multiple disabilities,who have opted for home-based education,while around 500 children,who are physically challenged and suffer from multiple disorders,are already studying in government schools.
The education department conducts a survey in December every year to find out the number of children suffering from disabilities and the ones who are completely bedridden. This is done so they can be taught at their homes. The survey,started in 2011 with only 40 children opting for home education,has shown the number to be increasing every year with 40 per cent of them being shifted to a school after proper treatment.
There are 14 special educators who provide support to these children at their homes,while there are 19 special educators who help students once they are shifted to school after treatment. An educator spends four hours with three such children in a day to help them learn basic skills besides counselling the parents.
According to the survey,the maximum number of children suffering from mental retardation and cerebral palsy are in the age group of 6-14 years and are mainly found in periphery areas where parents are unaware about the Right to Education Act that allows them to continue education at their home.
An official at the education department said,We try to cover the entire city under the survey but largely focus on periphery areas where the percentage of students suffering from multiple disorders is more. The parents are completely unaware about the provision where their children can be taught at home.
While some parents do not accept the fact that their children are suffering from a disease,some refuse to accept home-based education for their children. We cannot force them for anything but just try to convince them.
At present,there are five resource centres for treatment of children with disabilities. These centres organise weekly camps where PGI doctors and clinical psychologists conduct check-ups and monitor improvement in every student under treatment.
These centres are located at Government Model Senior Secondary School in Sector 15,GMSSS-8,GMSSS Sector 38 (West),45 and 28-C.