National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) recently conducted a study in India examining the enrolment, access and retention of children with disabilities (CWD). Results showed that 99% of the naturally challenged children liked attending regular schools.
However they also showed that only 57% of teachers were trained to teach children with special needs. Even more shockingly over half of all the teachers interviewed gave no response to questions about how they included disabled children in their day-to-day teaching. 88.1% of teachers were unable to identify how to meet the special needs of naturally challenged children in their classroom.
This is an issue which needs to be addressed if we want to progress as a society and build on the vision of oneness and equality. Being born with a disability should not make a child feel vulnerable, neglected or unable to participate in everyday activities such as gaining a basic education just like any other child.
The article went on to identify the main root of the problem lies in the states reluctance and ignorance to provide appropriate training for schools to implement an integrated learning system.
“The only disability in life is a bad attitude.” – Scott Hamilton
If children with special needs are expressing a strong desire for inclusive schooling with special attention, then it is only fair for the State and society to acknowledge their aspiration to learn. Furthermore students have expressed the need for better adapted toilets and playgrounds, indoor sports rooms and better seating facilities. The study has also suggested a more flexible curriculum with space for creative arts and multimedia, and hostel facilities for children with severe physical disabilities.
CARE understands the importance of emphasis in the idea that ‘disability is not inability’. Every child is special and talented in their own way.
We are working to correct this reported inequality by supporting these children, who are equally deserving of their right to an education.
We have built the largest centre in Bhuj, Gujarat which provides accommodation and educational facilities for individuals with various types of disabilities and abilities. The centre has been built to provide a barrier free environment which enables students move around independently and freely without assistance. All teachers are specially trained to offer a schooling curriculum based on the unique concept of students of all abilities and disabilities learning together. This helps children understand that have a disability does not make them and less gifted than those without.