Meeting for Education Sub-Group Consultation

5th September, 2010

Fifth Draft of Report of Sub Committee on Education revised on the basis of basis of meeting of the Sub Committee with legal Advisors held on 30th August in New Delhi and responses of the members and other stakeholders received subsequently

Title of Chapter: "Education and Educator Training1"

Vision: The New Act shall ensure "Rights of children with disabilities to education", "Dignity to special education professionals" and "Role of teacher preparation institutions in ensuring education for all"

  1. Access to Education: The Appropriate Government and Local Authorities including Panchayati Raj Institutions shall ensure that every child with a disability has access to free and quality education up to secondary level and affordable2 education at higher levels of education in the appropriate environment with focus upon the areas including :
    1. The term Education designates spaces anywhere where life long learning happens and shall also include Anganwadi, preparatory, pre-primary, primary, upper primary, secondary, corporate, self finance and any combination thereof higher secondary, higher education skill development, technical, pre-vocational vocational, professional training including post graduate and doctoral level education.
    2. All sectors of education including Government, local bodies, public, grant-in-aid, public private partnership, private,
    3. There shall be effective individualized support measures provided in environments that maximize academics and social development, consistent with the goal of full inclusion . The Education to be provided with multi-pronged as well as child centered approach at all level of early intervention, bridge course, adult, integrated, inclusive , alternative, home based, distant, literacy, part time classes, non formal, alternative, open schooling, special (up to secondary level) , residential, vocational, pre-vocational, lifelong learning.
    4. The concept of "reasonable accommodation" and "legal enablement" and use of technology to be adopted in all forms, all level and all types of education.
    5. All the concepts of special, inclusive as well as alternative education at all levels, all types and all forms of education shall be promoted. Each and every school in the Government, public as well as private sector shall be made inclusive and accessible for students with all disabilities and those with specific needs.
    6. The vocationalization of education , development of skills self defense, managing finance, sex education and entrepreneurship development at all levels and in all forms of education with focus on inclusive practices shall be practiced and promoted.
  2. Reservation in Admission: All Government educational institutions and other educational institutions receiving any form of grant, technical support, concessions or benefits from the Government shall reserve not less than 5 percent seats for persons with all categories of disabilities with the provision of 2 per cent reservation for girls with disabilities. The educational institutes shall include engineering, industrial training, computer, information technology, creative art, medical, commerce, management, literature, nursing, physiotherapy etc at all levels of education including higher education and post graduate education.
  3. Rights Based Programs: The Appropriate Government and Local Authorities shall evolve, support and promote various rights based programs on promoting education including:
    1. Inclusive education at all level of education.
    2. Special education for children needing special attention based upon pre-decided guidelines
    3. Distribution of Braille books, books written in simple language and style with pictures in bold format, large print, accessible soft format, low vision devices, education devices, language development devices (such as activity based learning material), early learning kit, assistive devices, rehabilitation devices, computer aided devices, hearing aid, cochlear implant, augmentative and alternative communication devices, adapted furniture and computer software, science laboratories, books, stationery and other adaptations and accommodations required for academic support completely free of cost and at all levels
    4. Promoting total communication including augmentative & alternative communication methods in different environments with the use of individualized way of speaking and listening, using non verbal or metaphorical forms for communication, especially in case of people with autism, deafblindness, cerebral-palsy, mental illness etc.
    5. Early childhood education and parent training, assessment, therapeutic interventions, medical support
    6. Transport facility for children as per requirement including those having restricted mobility and those and staying away from schools. There shall be a single window system of providing transport concession on the pattern it is given to non-disabled people
    7. Residential facility when required as a part of education for the children needing care and support during education - similar to that in RTE
    8. Scholarship for all levels of education with adequate amount commensurate with the expenses on education
  4. Educator Training: The Appropriate Government, Local Authorities, Universities, Teacher Training institutes and other relevant Councils and Authorities shall establish and support teacher training institutes as special or inclusive institutes for imparting training to Special teachers as well as mainstream teachers, including teachers with disabilities, who are qualified in sign language and /or Braille, and to train professionals and staff who work at all levels of education. These levels include pre service and in-service at all levels of education including those for early intervention, assessment, child preparatory services, itinerant teachers, resource teachers and teacher counselors. These to pay special attention to:
    1. Such institutions shall be provided grants including grant for maintenance to make teacher education affordable.
    2. The special, resource and itinerant teachers shall be provided salaries equivalent to the other teachers working at that level of education with a provision for special allowance or additional credit. The system of paying honorarium as a substitute to salary to teachers and other staff shall be discontinued as it is discriminatory. Grant-in-aid and Government institutions shall be paid salaries as being paid to other schools. For non grant in aid institutions shall ensure quality of education with the qualified scales.
    3. It shall be mandatory to appoint special teachers in a suitable ratio in all the schools where children with disabilities have been enrolled; and provide grant for such teacher from the same source from where grant for other teachers is provided.
    4. Education being responsibility of State Government, not less than 2 percent posts of the teachers should be reserved for Special Educators with preference for such teachers with disabilities.
    5. Provision of imparting appropriate training to mainstream teachers including a component on understanding and respecting diversity at the pre-primary, primary, secondary and higher secondary level and other relevant professional training courses.
    6. There shall be provision for organizing special courses for the special as well as regular teachers and other stakeholders in sign language, Braille, child assessment, total communication, child psychology, child preparatory services, low vision assessment, managing resource rooms, life skills, use of assistive devices and application of information and communication technology (ICT) etc.
    7. All Teacher Training Colleges, Teacher Training Institutes, Universities shall include a compulsory paper on "Teaching Children with Disabilities" in all the teacher training courses including Primary Teacher Course (PTC), Bachelor of Education (B Ed.), Master of Education (M.Ed.) etc. The National Council for Teacher Education to frame appropriate rules and ensure implementation thereof in expeditious manner. It shall also modify rules for appointment of faculty for teacher training colleges with the provision of appointing at least one faculty with specialization in disability related aspects.
    8. The Universities and colleges shall include component on disability in each and every course at the graduate and post graduate level. For example, if the subject is "Research Methodology" there shall be component on methodology of research on disability.
    9. The Universities shall also be involved in developing new courses in the area of disabilities. Similarly, some representatives of the Universities shall also be involved in drafting of new legislation.
    10. There shall be component on disability in the training of vocational instructors as well.
    11. There shall be provision for independent monitoring and evaluation of all educational institutes especially at the primary levels to ensure provision of good quality education.
    12. Recognizing sign language as another optional language rather than as special education issue and promote linguistic identity of deaf community.
    13. Training and Services of care-givers (Sahyogi) in case of children needing such support including support of sign language interpreters.
  5. Curriculum Adaptation: The Appropriate Government and Local Authorities shall make mandatory provisions for developing of curricula and adaptation of existing curricula or introduction of special curricula to meet individual needs where required with focus upon gender specific needs (such as provision to learn only one language, bilingual for the hearing impaired) making curricula accessible (Braille, audio, large print) with focus on experiential learning and imparting training to teachers in handling these formats
    5 (1) Curriculum Reform Commission: There shall be provision to establish the "Curriculum Reform Commission" for the purpose of review of curriculum in the field of education of children/persons with disabilities at different levels, different modes on consistent basis
  6. Examination: The Appropriate Government and Local Authorities shall develop and implement system of examination including competitive, academic and entry level tests to enable the students to suitably overcome the disadvantage due to nature and extent of disability subject to following provisions:
    1. A uniform system of providing support of writers, permitting use of technology and adaptations, providing separate and accessible seating arrangement where required and compensating for loss of time shall be provided. The scribe/assistant taken by a student with disability, or provided to her at her/his request, should not, at the time he is so acting, be qualified, or should not at any prior time have been qualified to appear for the same exam. Similarly, right to communication assistants shall also be honoured.
    2. No examination body/educational institution to exclude persons with disabilities from any stream or subject on the grounds of his/her disability. Provision shall be made by the respective institutions /examinations bodies to enable the students with disabilities to have access to such subjects and take examination with flexible duration of examination as per specific needs.
    3. To introduce flexible system of comparatively lower qualifying marks and pass percentage to facilitate passing of exams in case of children with intellectual, psychological, severe, multiple disabilities, deafblindness and mental illness.
    4. To grant permission to carry food, medicines and supporting devices to the examination halls and to permit support of care-givers as per specific needs of the individuals.
    5. To provide credit for the work done and courses undertaken before the illness, especially in case of children with psychiatric disabilities while calculating the final grades.
  7. Reservation in Admission: The Appropriate Government and Local Authorities shall ensure that all educational institutes to admit at least 5 percent children with disabilities at level of education in private, grant-in-aid as well as State run schools with in such a manner that each category of disability gets due representation in respect admission of educational programs with an additional 1 percent reservation for the children of parents with disabilities.
  8. No Denial of Admission: No school or college or educational institutes shall deny admission or be asked to be withdrawn to a child on the grounds of disability or such other ground. Be it a mandatory provision for that in context of Right to Education Act and shall make mandatory provision for appeal in case of non-compliance in terms of admission, barrier free environment, transport, provision of teaching learning material, adaption of curriculum etc. and claim reimbursement as per provisions of the RTE Act. The School Management Committee shall have representatives of the parents and students with disabilities as per provisions of RTE Act. The penal action shall be taken to the extent of withdrawal of recognition. There shall be additional provisions in respect of:
    1. Relaxation in upper age limit at the time of admission to enable all those persons with disabilities who could not get into educational system due to limitations posed due to nature of disability.
    2. The inclusive as well as special schools to allow and promote the use of alternative and augmentative communication for students with disabilities who need such support.
  9. Appropriate Language: The Appropriate Government and Local Authorities shall make Special Provision to ensure that education of children with blindness, deafness, deafblindness, autism, multiple disabilities and intellectual disabilities shall be delivered in the most appropriate language and modes and means of communication for the individual, and in the environment where they attain social and academic development. Similarly the concept of home teaching, on-line teaching, open schooling and staggered teaching shall be recognized as appropriate means of education. (Compare with right based)
  10. Concurrent Responsibility: The Central and the State Governments shall have concurrent responsibility for providing funds for promotion of all forms of education of persons with disabilities
  11. The rights and facilities recognized by the provisions of this chapter are in addition to the rights and facilities recognized for education of children in any enactment including Right to Education Act.

This part of the Chapter should be shifted to different sections as explained below:

1. Recommendation Only

a) Educational Activity: The Appropriate Government and Local Authorities shall consider, initiate, promote, support and guide education of children with disabilities as an educational activity and not a welfare activity. The education and allied activities shall be carried out under the auspices of the Ministry of Human Resources Development. The Ministry of Social Justice shall provide and support for assistive devices, use of technology and residential accommodation etc.

2. Part of Programmes only

b) There shall also be provision of reimbursement of expenses incurred by a person with disability on higher and professional education and training.

c) To provide special allowance for the families of the girl child with disabilities for the purpose of meeting the educational expenses. Similarly to provide incentive to educational institutes both in public and private sector for the purpose of enrolling girl children with disabilities.

3. To be shifted other chapters:

To be shifted to chapter on Leisure & Sports:

National events like Abilympics, Paralympics, Special Olympics, Cricket & sports for the people with disabilities etc shall be used as vehicle for promoting skills, techniques of mind and body building, and sportsman spirit. These initiatives are not just about building attitudes or skills but provided opportunities to be educated in and trained in as well as practice various sports.

To be shifted to Chapter on Culture, Recreation, Leisure and Sports:

Access to Sports: No person will be denied access to and participation in sports, cultural, recreation and other co-curricular and extra-curricular activities on grounds of disabilities. A provision of adequate funds shall be made for ensuring promotion of these activities.

To be shifted to chapter on Independent Living:

Residential homes run for disabled, destitute, orphans and abandoned children to impart appropriate education, vocational training and entrepreneurship development as per individual need

To be shifted to chapter on Awareness:

Imparting orientation to concerned officials in understanding and use of sign language and in giving support and care, understanding needs of themselves as well as needs of PWD, training in communication, independence training and life skills etc

To be shifted to chapter on Legal Capacity:

Ensuring right to alternative signatures in all documents pertaining to education and otherwise.

To be shifted to chapter on Assistive Devices:

The Appropriate Government and Local Authorities shall promote research, development, production, distribution and training in use of assistive devices, rehabilitation devices, mobility aids, low tech and high communication devices and computer aided devices and technology products facilitating functioning and education of children with all type of disabilities.

To be shifted to chapter on Accessibility:

Barrier Free Environment: The Appropriate Government and Local Authorities shall ensure development of Barrier Free Environment in all educational institutes, training centres and human resource development centres, especially toilets, approach roads shall be barrier free, accessible and user friendly within a period of 5 years from the commencement of the Act. The concept of Barrier free shall consider all types of special needs and remove attitudinal barriers as well. These measures shall include physical environment, signage, Braille markings, Braille display unit for the deafblind, audio signals, visual warning alarms, colour combination, avoiding use of florescent lights, tactile floors, ramps, and lifts, enabling devices removal of obstructions and promoting use of technology. The new locations of school sites must be chosen with care using an inclusive lens to create a barrier free environment and accessible buildings incorporating not only ramps but accessible class rooms, toilets, play grounds, laboratories and other utilities etc.

To be shifted to chapter on Accessibility:

Audio Descriptions: The Appropriate Government, Local Authorities, Authorities concerned with production, distribution, screening, broadcasting, promoting, controlling, monitoring the production and dissemination of audio visual material shall make special provision to provide audio description of all the audio-visual material for the benefit of persons with blindness and low vision. The audio description shall be combined with sign language interpreter to ensure access to persons with hearing impairment to such material. All the TV channels, film makers and producers of audio visual material shall be directed to adopt the system of audio discretion, sign language and subtitling to make such material accessible. (This is being done successfully in U K).

To be shifted to Chapter on Accessibility

Copyright Act: Notwithstanding anything contrary to Copyright Act, all the Braille, audio and large print material specially required by persons with disabilities and print material that can be understood by Augmentative & Alternative Users shall be exempt from the Copyright laws and such other provisions.

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