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  1. Volume 2 Month 11 Day 23 – Entitlements of Inclusive Schools

    by

    For the education of children with disabilities, there are mainly two approaches-Special Education and Integrated/ Inclusive Education. Special Education refers to that form of education that takes place in special schools or institutions.

    The other popular option known as inclusive education refers to the process of educating children with special educational needs alongside their peers in mainstream schools.

    The Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India in its draft Inclusive Education Scheme, 2003 says:

    Inclusive education means all learners, young people- with or without disabilities- being able to learn together in ordinary preschool provisions, schools, and community educational settings with appropriate network of support services.

    The support services are designed to meet both the specific needs of the disabled student and of the school. This article gives a brief account of the type of support a school may need, to optimize learning opportunities for the students with disabilities. This will also orient the school administrators with the schemes available and the procedures for obtaining the support.

    1.      Can schools/educational institutions receive financial assistance for making the school premises accessible?

    Yes, there are a number of schemes in operation under which financial assistance is provided for making educational institutions accessible for those with disabilities.

    Under the IEDC (Integrated Education for Disabled Children) scheme, schools are entitled to receive grants as per their requirement for:

    Improving access by removing architectural barriers and for curriculum support.

     

    All new school buildings constructed under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) are supposed to provide ramps, handrails, and other features that enable easy access. For making existing school building accessible, a budget of Rs. 5,000 per annum provided under SSA for renovations can be used.

    It is fortunate that despite the provision of financial support many State Governments and the schools under their administrative control have still to carry out modifications in the school buildings.

    Recognizing that many institutions have architectural barriers that disabled persons find difficult for their day-to-day functioning, the University Grant Commission (UGC) launched a scheme to provide financial assistance to university/colleges. Under this scheme, a one-time grant of Rs. 5 lakhs is provided to universities/ colleges for making their premises fully accessible.

    2.      Can schools receive any assistance towards the training and orientation of its teachers in special education?

    There are a number of ways in which schools can arrange for the orientation and training of their teachers, principals and other staff members. For example:

    ·         There are six national institutes in different areas of disability. They can be approached for conducting an orientation or a short-term course for teachers and other staff members.

     

    The contact details of the six national institutes are as follows:

    National Institute for the Mentally Handicapped

    Manovikas Nagar

    Bhovanpalli

    Secunderabad 500 011

    National Institute for the Visually Handicapped

    116, Rajpur Road

    Dehradun 248 001

    Ali Yavar Jung National Institute for the Hearing-Impaired

    Kishan Chand Marg

    Bandra (W)

    Mumbai 400 050

    National Institute for the Orthopaedically Handicapped

    B.T. Road

    Bonhooghly

    Calcutta 700 090

    National Institute for the Physically Handicapped

    4, Vishnu Digambar Marg

    New Delhi 110 002

    National Institute of Rehabilitation, Training & Research

    P.O. Bairoi

    Cuttack 754 010

     

    ·         Under SSA, a 20-day teachers’ training course is envisaged for all in-service teachers. All states are required to have an essential component / module on classroom management of Children with Special Needs (CWSN) in this teachers training programmes. States could also conduct a 5-7 day orientation course for a few select teachers from the district / block for disability management, effective pedagogical strategies, use of special equipment and preparation of teaching learning material.

    ·         These training programmes are conducted by the State Councils of Educational Research and Training (SCERTs), District Institute of Education and Training (DIETs), SSA programmes, Regional Institute of Education (RIEs) and voluntary organizations.

    ·         The schools can enroll teachers for a “Foundation Course on Education of Children with Disabilities”. This is a distance course offered jointly by the Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI) and the Madhya Pradesh Bhoj Open University (MPBOU).

    Details are available at:

    http://rehabilitation.nic.in/programmes/foundation.htm

     

    3.      Can schools receive assistance in appointing special education teachers?

    Yes, schools can appoint special education teachers in the ratio of 1:5 students. Under the IEDC, they are entitled to the same scales of pay as available to the teachers of the corresponding category in that State/UT. Apart from looking after special education needs, these teachers are required to provide counseling to the parents, help in identifying the needs of learners with disabilities, participate in the assessment team, assist the general teachers in developing Individualized Education Plans (IEPs), help in training programmes and in other ways whenever necessary.

       Schools can engage resource teachers under SSA. An honorarium can be paid out of the budget provision of Rs. 1,200 per disabled child per annum. It is clarified that under SSA there is no separate budget earmarked for meeting different needs of children with disabilities apart from the lump sum provision of Rs. 1,200.

     

    4.      Can schools appoint support staff other than special education teachers?

    Regular schools with an inclusive orientation must have a provision of support services to meet the needs of children with disabilities in the school. Under the IEDC scheme, external support of educational psychologists, speech and occupational therapists, physiotherapists, mobility instructors, etc. can be arranged locally. Under the scheme, TA/DA and consultancy fees are available.

     

    The consultative/additional support services must be planned in accordance with the child’s needs and age.

    The schools can also appoint additional helpers, attendants and ayahs. Under the IEDC scheme for five children with severe orthopaedic disabilities, one attendant can be appointed in the Class IV employees’ pay scale.

    For the students residing in hostels a sum of Rs. 250 can be paid to the helpers/ayahs attending to the needs of children with disabilities.

    An escort allowance of Rs. 600 per month per child can be paid for bringing children to school and home. This allowance is permissible in the case of children with severe disabilities in the lower extremities, girls with disabilities and children with mental disabilities.

    There is a lump sum provision of Rs. 1,200 per annum in the SSA scheme to meet all the needs of children with disabilities. Unlike the present IEDC scheme, SSA does not lay down any specific norms for the payment of honorarium, consultancy, or salary for the services of specialists in the field of education or rehabilitation. Each school is supposed to work out its own priorities in accordance with the children’s needs.

     

    5.      Are schools with hostels entitled to receive financial assistance for the boarding and lodging of students with disabilities?

    Yes, there are two different schemes under which schools can receive financial assistance to cover boarding and lodging costs for children with disabilities.

    ·         Under the IEDC scheme, schools can receive a sum of Rs. 800 per month per disabled child.

    ·         The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has an umbrella scheme-Scheme To Promote Voluntary Action For Persons With Disabilities (Revised Guidelines effective from April 1, 2003) under which schools run by NGOs can receive financial assistance at the rate of Rs. 600 per month per child. In addition, the scheme has a provision for the payment of an honorarium for hostel staff. Purchase of utensils, beds and other essential items can also be covered.

     

    6.      Can schools and other educational institutions maintain a resource centre?

    Yes, schools and other educational institutions can establish a special resource centre and can purchase special equipment and teaching-learning devices.

    Under the IEDC scheme a one-time grant of Rs. 1,00,000 is available for the construction of a resource room.

    In order to raise awareness in the higher education system and to provide necessary guidance and counseling, the UGC has launched a scheme of assistance for universities /colleges under which the special unit has to be coordinated by a faculty member to be nominated by the head of the institution. The coordinator will be paid an honorarium of Rs. 3,000 per month. The special unit can also engage an honorary placement officer for which he/she will be paid Rs. 2,000 month. The coordinator and the placement officer will be assisted by a team of three students volunteers who will be paid a stipend of Rs. 1,000 each per month.

    The unit will also have a budgetary provision of Rs. 30,000 per annum towards programmes, stationery, contingencies, etc. Under the scheme Rs. 20,000 is available for organizing awareness programmes.

     

    7.      Can schools and other educational institutions receive assistance for purchasing special devices and equipment?

    Yes, schools and other educational institutions are entitled to receive funds towards the purchase of equipment and special devices for the common use of students and teachers.

    Under the IEDC scheme, schools can receive a one-time grant of Rs. 50,000.

    During the Tenth Plan period, the UGC encouraged the universities/colleges to acquire special aids and appliances such as low vision aids, scanners, mobility devices and so on. Under the scheme of assistance to universities/colleges, the UGC extends a one-time grant of Rs. 3 lakhs.

     

    8.      Can private schools imparting education to children with disabilities access these benefits?

    Yes, private schools imparting education to children with disabilities are entitled to all benefits under the IEDC scheme and SSA schemes. The school will be given grants in accordance with the norms laid down in the schemes.

    Schools desiring to benefit from these schemes should submit their applications in the prescribed format. Such applications should be forwarded to the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India through the State Department of Welfare/Education. The State Department is supposed to inspect the facilities in the applicant school, based on which they will recommend the grant of funds by the MHRD under the IEDC or SSA schemes.

    Likewise, universities/colleges wishing to benefit from the schemes being implemented by the UGC can submit applications for grants with the Chairperson, UGC, through the Vice-Chancellor or Registrar of the concerned university.     

     

    Deepshikha



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