Inclusive Education for Children with Special Needs

Kerala has achieved all the Millennium Development Goals set for education. As is well known, Kerala was the first state to have achieved universal literacy. There is near universal school enrolment. The dropout rate is very low in schools. Another feature of Keralas educational system is that it developed mainly through institutions that are owned or aided by the government. There are no fees at any level in general schools. Keralas education system has been able to achieve gender equity in enrolment to a large extent. Nearly half of the students in lower primary classes are girls. There is not much gender disparity in the pre-primary school enrolment either (CSES 2002). Among the teachers in schools, the presence of female teachers is around 67% in Kerala. In case of Children with Special Needs, Kerala provides inclusive education to the children with disabilities. In inclusive education students with special needs are placed in the same classroom environment as other students of their age group who do not have special needs. Inclusive education allows children to develop friendship with their peers and feel less social tension about their disabilities. Children who are placed in general class room environments usually have higher self-esteem, than who are isolated to different classrooms, simply because they have special needs

Inclusive education all over the world aims to lead the children with special needs to success in their own capacity. The basic taboo for children with special needs is of access to success not support or sympathy. According to The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, inclusive education means a system of education wherein students with and without disability learn together and the system of teaching and learning is suitably adapted to meet the learning needs of different types of students with disabilities. The act clearly mentions that each student with special needs should be in the class along with the normal children and provide equal opportunities to express their feels and expressions to enhance the socialization process. Access to success is the core philosophy of inclusive education. The issue of access could be viewed in two ways. The first and universally discussed mode of access is physical. Children with special needs are denied educational access due to lack of infrastructural facilities including proper roads, transportation facilities and disabled friendly structures.

The scheme mainly constitutes two type components viz:

Student oriented components
Other components (Teacher oriented, Infrastructure, awareness, software installation etc.)

Vision


To enable all children with special needs completing eight year of elementary schooling an opportunity to complete four years Secondary schooling (Classes IX to XII) in an inclusive environment.
To provide education opportunities and facilities to children with special needs in the general education system at the Elementary and Secondary level (Classes I to XII)

Objectives


Every child with special needs will be identified at the pre-school level
Assess educational needs and scaffolding strategies for children with special needs from pre-school to senior secondary classes.
Provide aids and appliances, assistive devices and supportive adapted teaching learning materials
Barrier free environment for access to the class rooms, laboratories, libraries etc.
Assure special educators, therapists and Aayas to cater the educational needs of children with special needs