‘White paper’ pushes for disability-inclusive schooling | India Information
NEW DELHI: Emphasizing that according to the Unified District Information on School Education (UDISE) + data in 2018-19, slightly less than 30% of schools across the country had children with disabilities enrolled and that there is wide interstate variation , a “White Paper” on “National Education Policy and Disability-Friendly Education” advocates focusing on improving their enrollment.
“UDISE + data from 2018-2019 tells us that India had 15,51,000 schools with 24,78,53,688 children in different states across the country. Of these, October 21, 844 were students with disabilities, ”says the report.
The “White Paper” published by the civil society organization National Center for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP) emphasizes that given the ongoing humanitarian crisis of Covid-19, there is a risk of a larger number of students with disabilities dropping out of school now from. “As the states plan, it would be important to track every student who is in school and help the child get back to school. This plan needs to be implemented as a matter of urgency, ”recommends the report, which draws attention to the persistently low school enrollment of children with disabilities as a major challenge.
The report notes that the UDISE and UDISE + data on school enrollment show persistently low and almost static enrollment among children with disabilities over the years. In 2013-2014, the enrollment of children with disabilities in schooling was 1.1% of the total number of enrolled students. This fell to 0.9% in 2018-19, although new impairment groups were added to the census, with little fluctuation in the years in between. The 2018-19 UDISE + data continues to reflect this trend, with 2.3% students enrolled with disabilities.
NCPEDP Executive Director Arman Ali said that while it is encouraging to see the NEP emphasize holistic education, the challenges to accessible education remain. “More than 1 billion children are at risk of falling behind school closings due to the pandemic. Among these children, children with disabilities are often the most at risk. It is now time to ensure that the roadmaps drawn up for the implementation of the NEP are accessible to people with disabilities, ”he said.
The data also show a sharp decline in the enrollment of students with disabilities in higher education. Only 0.5% of the schools in the secondary I / O schools have children with special needs and disabilities enrolled. The report also speaks of persistent gender gaps in the enrollment of girls with disabilities. “The gender parity index of children with disabilities from 2014-15 to 2018-19 shows a constant but low ratio of girls with disabilities to boys with disabilities. This ratio remains between 0.74-0.75 in school education, ”it said.