‘Homemade’ lessons on anvil for differently-abled

To make education more inclusive,the state’s Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) is considering home tutoring for differently-abled children.

Written by Chinki Sinha | New Delhi | Published: February 19, 2010 12:38:25 am

Special teachers will be roped in to implement Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan programme to educate around 200 children who can’t go to school

To make education more inclusive,the state’s Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) is considering home tutoring for differently-abled children.

Special teachers will be roped in to implement the programme to bring into the mainstream around 200 differently abled children who stay homes and cannot attend school,an Education department official said.

After the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) announced that every disabled child is entitled to an annual allocation of Rs 3,000 instead of Rs 1,200,previously earmarked under the SSA,the state officials are hoping they can use the funds to innovate in the area of inclusive education.

The MHRD is also looking to enforce the Right to Education through the SSA.

“The state is working on a zero rejection policy and is committed to provide quality education to all children with special needs,” state SSA Project Director V P Singh said. The proposal for home-based tutoring is part of a gamut of proposals to be submitted during the upcoming budget session,an official said.

The SSA in Delhi put the figure of out of school children with special needs (CWSN) at 1,511,according to a survey in 2008. This includes the 200 CWSN who cannot attend formal school because of their handicap,an official said.

In Himachal Pradesh and Tamil Nadu,home tutoring has already been implemented.

“The ceiling is Rs 3,000 and the state has to submit proposals to get the allocation. The proposals have been prepared keeping the MHRD guidelines in mind,” Singh told Newsline.

More than 13,000 differently-abled children in the age group of 6 and 14 have been identified in the city’s government and municipal schools with the help of special educators.

Of Rs 3,000 per head per annum,Rs 1,000 has to be spent on resource teachers’ salaries and the rest on orientation and counselling of parents and teachers. The Delhi state SSA has already deployed 50 resource teachers in the schools and will be hiring more,Singh said.

The state’s SSA department has already tied up with the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) and teacher training will be monitored by the State Council Educational Research and Training (SCERT).

“The money needs to be spent on orientation of parents and teachers. We want general teachers to undergo training too. In one batch,IGNOU can accommodate 400 teachers and in a year,we train 3 to 4 batches,” Singh said.

More assessment camps will be organised to assess children and to provide them with aids and applicationsnecessary for them to be able to learn in a classroom. Such assessment camps have been an annual feature for the last four years where specialists examine disabled children and advice them on aids which are provided free of cost by the SSA.

Besides,resource rooms are also being proposed at the zonal and cluster levels so that teachers can avail of teaching and learning material to help them understand various kinds of disabilities.

Children too can access the resource rooms and go through the material,an official said. “We have flexibility in utilising the funds internally,so we can innovate,” Singh said.

“There are no restrictions on a child’s needs. One child may need glasses; another child may require a wheelchair. We can provide these to them.”

The funding ratio for the SSA,however,is 55:45 between the Centre and the states. The states have repeatedly said they cannot bear the cost of implementing the Right to Education and want a 90:10 arrangement.

Human Resource and Development Minister Kapil Sibal has indicated that discussions are underway to implement a 75:25 ratio,but nothing has been finalised yet,an official said.

Schooling for everyone

* Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) recently announced every disabled child is entitled to an annual allocation of Rs 3,000 instead of Rs 1,200

* State officials are hoping to use a part of the funds to start home tutoring of special children

* In Delhi,around 200 differently-abled children cannot attend school

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