The Delhi High Court has directed all recognised,aided and unaided private schools in Delhi to appoint special educators and to make their buildings/school premises barrier-free for children with disabilities.
The court ordered the Director of Education to ensure that its directions were followed and to de-recognise any school that has not made its premises disabled-friendly.
The court granted time up until March 31,2013,to the schools to make their premises barrier-free. It told the institutes to appoint special educators with the next two years.
Schools where children with special needs are already admitted or will be admitted hereafter shall immediately make provision for special educators…no school shall refuse admission to children with disability for the reason of not employing special educators or not providing barrier-free access on the school premises, the court order says.
Ashok Agarwal,the counsel for the NGO,Social Jurist,had sought the High Courts directive on the failure of private and unaided schools to have adequate physical and academic infrastructure for children with disabilities.
Earlier,the High Court had dealt a similar petition on children with special needs in government schools.
It had directed the government to ensure that each school have at least two special educators and that necessary teaching aids and reading material are provided to these children.
Pointing out that there are 2,039 unaided private schools (1,260 recognised by the Directorate of Education and 779 by the municipal corporations) and 258 aided private schools in Delhi,the petitioner had alleged that most of these schools did not provide basic academic infrastructure to the disabled.