In view of the constitutional commitment of providing free and compulsory education upto the age of 14 years irrespective of the abilities of children, SSA Chandigarh is striving hard to achieve this aim. Undeniably the Abhiyan extended various facilities to the children with special needs (CWSN) to facilitate the education of this special group of children.
As a step towards removing the barrier of exclusion for these Children with Special needs, Chandigarh SSA has initiated the process of including CWSN in the mainstream schools to make education accessible to this vulnerable group of children, their identification, assessment and proximity of schools is felt important. Therefore, following steps were initiated:
(a) Identification process of CWSN: -
The CWSN identified by RTs are medically examined by the medical teams of Govt. Medical College and Hospitals, Sector-32 (GMCH-32) and Govt. Multispeciality Hospital, Sector 16 (GMSH-16) under Directorate of Health, UT Chandigarh in order to ascertain the degree and type of disability.
Table showing no. of CWSN covered in mainstream and home based education
b) Accessibility of schools to CWSN: - Access to schools can be viewed in two ways.
· The number of schooling facilities within the habitation or within 1, 3, 4 or 7 Km radius.
· The number of schooling facilities per lac population.
The first principle is applicable to isolated and far flung areas which require availability of schooling facilities within the walking distance of serving area. Second principle is applicable for highly dense areas like Chandigarh in which a large number of schooling facilities already exist, yet the schools are not accessible for many children due to shortage of space, classrooms and barriers in school buildings.
(c) Medical assessment and distribution of aids and appliances to CWSN: - Supportive aids and appliances to 566 CWSN during 2014-15 help in making education accessible to CWSN. These supportive aids and appliances were distributed to CWSN with the help of various NGOs/ALIMCO/School Health Programme.
(d) Transport/Escort allowance to CWSN: - During 2014-15, 240 CWSN were provided transport allowance and 477 CWSN were provided Escort Allowance @ Rs.2500/- per child per annum. Further, during 2015-16, 544 CWSN are being provided escort allowance & 180 transport allowance.
(e) Home based Education: - Although various steps were initiated for the inclusion of CWSN yet there is a group of CWSN who cannot be mainstreamed in schools due to the severity of degree of their disability. As such in order to make education accessible to this section of CWSN, Home Based Education was started and during 2015-16, 239 CWSN are covered under Home Based Education. Efforts are being made to mainstream these CWSN, 47 CWSN have been mainstreamed from HBE during 2014-15.
2. ACTIVITIES INITIATED FOR PROVIDING EQUALITY TO CWSN: -
In order to provide equality to CWSN and to create awareness among general public about the inclusion of CWSN in mainstream schools following initiatives are being undertaken during 2015-16:
(a) Skill training to CWSN
(b) Activities on the eve of World Disability Day.
3. ACTIVITIES INITIATED FOR RETENTION AND PROVIDING QUALITY EDUCATION: -
(a) Curriculum Modification & development of IEP
(b) Evaluation guidelines for CWSN
(c) Capacity building of General Teachers: Orientation programmes for school teachers
(d) Learning Corners for CWSN
(e) Support Services in Special Resource Centres
(f) Therapy Camps for CWSN at cluster level.
was conducted by RIMH on “Understanding the Barriers Faced by
Children with Disabilities at Schools with Inclusive Set-up in