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When the nation celebrated children’s day, much was discussed about the pathetic situation of education as well as malnutrition of children. But, a recent Supreme Court observation on education of disabled has raised many questions on the right of disabled children to equal education along with normal children. ( Supreme Court suggests separate schools for children with disabilities : Observation violates laws on equality ; hampers inclusive education , Kangkan Acharyya, First post.com October 29,2017). This has attracted criticism from child rights activists.

Special needs

Every disabled child has some special needs and requires resource teachers to augment his/ her understanding of the lessons. Various types of disabilities need aids in accordance with nature of disability. Therefore, the suggestion of special schools looks logical on many grounds.

First, the teacher will be able to explain lessons keeping in view the nature of disability. Secondly, the child will have a one – to – one contact with the teacher so that grasping of the subject matter becomes easy. Further, disabled children often feel discomfort with normal children as they are likely to be looked upon as inferior and do not show interest in integrating them in their school activities. This makes disabled more conscious of the handicap and impedes in learning.

Exclusion

On the other hand, such special schools lead to isolation and exclusion from society. Though disabled may feel bad and sensitive with certain acts of normal child, the interaction helps in co- operation and mingling becomes easier with continuous exposure. When both disabled and normal are given education in integrated schools, both learn to live with each other. This is more difficult when disabled have special schools. While growing in same conditions, children will acquaint each other’s social, economic and psychological conditions that would help in shaping life later on.

Integration with special care

Teachers must be trained in such a way that they can handle both disabled and normal children at the same time. Conducting special classes after school hours, preparing normal children to live with disabled by assisting them in their studies in life, encouraging disabled in all normal activities, etc may go a long way in improving disabled educationally and psychologically.

Court observation

Disabled do not need special schools but special attention in normal schools to supplement their understanding of subjects. They need equal treatment by the society and not mere empathy. The court should have made a progressive observation and opted for integrated school education with some special attention on specific disability. But, this observation of special schools may not help the disabled in totally integrating with society later in life. The observation is a hindrance to the fundamental right of equality. This matter needs to be debated

Sheshu Babu is a writer from anywhere and everywhere

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2 Comments

  1. Pingback: Red News | Protestation

  2. Sally Dugman says:

    In my opinion, Sheshu, I agree with you that the topic should, of course, be debated so that education of adults responsible for decisions in education leave them well informed. Then you need a model such as we have in MA, USA, wherein children from birth onward with developmental delays are other conditions (such as physical lacks, premature birth causing some brain anomaly, personality disorders, poor or no eyesight, inability to walk, hearing deficits, etc.) are given an extensive evaluation and a trained therapist works with the child two hours a week to bring about improvements. (MA government pays for this as part of public education practices.)

    Initially,the problem is brought to the attention of a team of specialists, who evaluate the child, interview parents and discuss the child with teachers while afterwards making recommendations. They also give homework assignments to the teachers and parents while usually meeting one hour with the child at school (if he is in one) and one hour at home. otherwise, there are two hours of intervention at home.

    In extreme cases, a child care specialist is assigned to be one-on-one with the child throughout the day while he or she is in a normal classroom. Sometimes the children will be in a “normal” classroom and at other times in special training sessions in the school or at another site.

    Diagnosis throughout the child’s involvement in school, vocational training and life-skills training for ones ready to exit school as young adults is also provided in my state of MA. … inclusion in society of peers and others,special assistance so that the child can either overcome handicaps or deal with the successfully in normal society is essential. So it is appalling that there is exclusion.

    This exclusion reminds me of the exclusion that we had for schools in the USA against black skinned people. This sort of practice (segregation regardless of whom is segregated against based on physical traits like skin color or ANY other sort) of separating those who are deemed just too different from the rest of us needs to stop.

    I recommend that you force your colleges and universities, as well as schools, to follow our model in MA. It CAN be done! … You need the universities and colleges to develop people trained in special intervention programs and the schools to accept the specialists that result.

    Scholarly articles for special intervention children MA
    … behavioral intervention research with young children … – ‎Conroy – Cited by 197
    Early intervention for children with conduct disorders: A … – ‎Scruggs – Cited by 210
    Early intervention for socially withdrawn children – ‎Mastropieri – Cited by 107

    Services for Children with Disabilities & Special Needs – Mass.gov
    http://www.mass.gov/edu/…/services-for-children-with-disabilities-and-special-needs/
    Early Intervention provides family-centered services to help children who qualify … and Agencies in Massachusetts (PDF) · pdf format of Early Childhood Transitions … oversees preschool special education and transition from Early Intervention …

    Early Intervention (EI) – Mass.gov
    http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/gov/departments/dph/programs/…intervention/family-info/
    Early Intervention in Massachusetts is a statewide, integrated, developmental service available to families of children between birth and three years of age. Ch.

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