In a move to revolutionise the state of education for over 40, 000 differently-abled children in the state, the State Council for Education Research and Training (SCERT) is in talks with the Maharashtra Prathamic Shikshan Parishad to prepare a curriculum to integrate these students into regular classrooms.
“We are in conversation with the MPSP to prepare a handbook to integrate students with special needs into regular classrooms. The discussions have been on for the past one month. Once we have looked at all aspects, we will decide upon the handbook,” said SCERT director N K Jarag.
As per the highlights of the new initiatives introduced by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, to integrate over 25 lakh children with special needs enrolled in elementary education across the country into a regular classroom environment, a handbook on curricular adaptations to orient all primary school teachers was developed by the National Council for Education Research and Training. It was released by the human resource minister on August 26.
A senior official of the Directorate of Primary Education said, “At present, there are special schools for special children. These schools have teachers trained to manage them. Training is imparted in Hyderabad and New Delhi. The move to integrate students is commendable as it will bring these students into mainstream education. This will also sensitise other children towards their needs.”
At present, there are 681 schools for 9,000 differently-abled students in the state. There are 42,000 students in the state who are differently-abled and enrolled to various schools across the state, but this number does not represent the actual figure as there are many who are not enrolled to any formal schooling system because of their disability.
“There were 1,360 schools for the specially-challenged students. But during a drive held last year to check how many schools followed the prescribed norms, we found that 679 schools did not have trained teachers and the required infrastructure. Hence, they were shut down. The numbers could have gone up had we not announced the date of inspection. The checks were held last November, and we announced the dates almost two in advance,” said a senior official at the Directorate of Primary Education.