The Uttarakhand High Court on Wednesday issued a slew of directions to the state government to ensure that proper facilities are provided in schools to children with special needs.
A division bench of Justices Rajiv Sharma and Lokpal Singh passed the order after taking cognizance of a letter written by one Kamal Gupta four years ago highlighting the difficulties faced by children with special needs in pursuing education.
It directed that all the government, aided and non-aided schools of the state must ensure washrooms, transportation system and barrier-free movement for children with special needs.
“The state government is directed to appoint special educators in all the schools for children with special needs within a period of six months,” the bench said.
The court has also directed the government to give a scholarship of Rs 1,000 per month to these students and to look after all the children with special needs whose parents are not able to take care of them.
It asked the State to provide incentives for such parents too. The court said the government should provide school uniforms, stationery, books etc. and transportation to and from schools.
It also directed that a special curriculum be developed for them within three months and a braillewriter be provided for visually impaired children.
The court also directed the state government to construct sufficient number of hostels for children with special needs as per the specifications of the Persons with Disabilities (Equal opportunities, protection of rights and full participation) Act, 1995 and Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, within a period of one year in a cluster of four districts.
The court held that the state government should ensure that every child with a disability has access to free education in an appropriate environment till he or she attains the age of eighteen years.
An endeavour is to be made to promote the integration of students with disabilities in the normal schools and to equip the special schools for children with disabilities with vocational training facilities, it said.
The court defined special needs students into eight categories: Fully Visually Impaired, Partially Visually Impaired, Leprosy Cured, Deaf, Locomotor Impaired, Mentally Challenged, Mental Disorder and Slow Mental Growth.