The Department of Primary and Secondary Education is going to a draft policy on the education for children with special needs. This will address issues such as access to school, teaching aid, teaching methodology, employing special teachers etc.
On Tuesday, a meeting with several stakeholders, including officials from the Education Department, office of the State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, parents of children with special needs as well as people with disabilities, took part.
Indresh R., Deputy Secretary to the Government of Karnataka, said: “We deliberated on the need to train teachers and sensitise them so that they are able to identify children with special needs at an early stage. This would help in designing early interventions to the children that would help them.”
Currently, as per the Education Department’s records there are over 85,000 children with special needs studying in classes 1 to 10. Now there are two types of interventions. One is home-based education where volunteers visit homes of children with disabilities and teach them. The other one, school readiness programme, has a school set up at the taluk level where children with disabilities can attend classes. This programme prepares them for education in mainstream schools later on.
The policy is in line with the Rights of Persons with disabilities Act, 2016, which underlines the need for the government to promote inclusive education where students with and without disability learn together and the teaching and learning system meets the learning needs of different types of students with disabilities.
The department will hold more such consultations before coming up with a draft.