[AI] Education

George Abraham george at eyeway.org
Thu Dec 20 21:00:44 EST 2018

It is disappointing that the Govt. and most rehab professionals view people
with disability  as persons with special needs. Time we pushed for a change
on the definition of who makes for a child going to school and then redesign
education etc. to meet the demands of the revised design. As it is the
education meted out to the average Indian is not doing justice to the
potential to the talent  that exists. Not only persons with disability but
most persons emerging from our education system are not employable.  This is
my view and can be debated!

-----Original Message-----
From: AccessIndia [mailto:accessindia-bounces at accessindia.org.in] On Behalf
Of Kanchan Pamnani
Sent: Thursday, December 20, 2018 12:15 PM
To: 'AccessIndia: a list for discussing accessibility and issues concerning
the disabled.'
Cc: 'Rama Chari'; 'Rati Misra'
Subject: [AI] Education

Schools' rejection of students with special needs is common: Mental health
experts - Times of India 

Sep 5, 2018, 

MUMBAI: As the parents of a class VIII boy diagnosed with attention deficit
hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) fight out his suspension with The Cathedral &
John Connon School in the Bombay high court, the focus is back on the
inclusion of children with special needs or the lack of it in city schools.
Activists feel schools still refuse to open their doors to students with
special needs. "Inclusion does not mean just admitting a child in school,
but also making sure the child is comfortable in the environment and learns
to the best of one's ability. The onus lies on the school to make sure that
the child is socially accepted by counselling the peers and their parents,"
said Rekha Vijaykar, director of the NGO ADAPT - Able Disabled All People
Together. While the Right to Education Act 2009 vouches for inclusion, the
Persons with Disability Act 2016 outlines responsibilities of educational
institutes to promote and facilitate inclusive education. The Act requires
schools to admit students without discrimination and provide infrastructure
and academic support like suitable pedagogical methods and other measures to
ensure academic and social participation and development. Mental health
professionals say they often encounter cases where such students are asked
to leave school. "Many elite schools are known to force students with ADHD,
autism or learning disabilities to drop out. Since the law of the land,
including RTE Act and Persons with Disability Act, does not allow them to
cancel their admission, they threaten parents with consequences and ask them
to instead take the leaving certificate. Violation of child rights is
rampant in city schools," said psychiatrist Dr Harish Shetty. Vijaykar
agrees that rejection of students with special needs is common and it's
detrimental to a child's progress. "A student with ADHD was asked to leave
his school in Khar and was out of class for nearly two years until he joined
us. His academic progress has been affected since then," she said. But
schools put the onus on parents. "Schools have a handful of counsellors or
sometimes just one for hundreds of students. In spite of that, when we make
an effort to help the child and ask the parents for a clinical diagnosis,
they are in denial. This makes it difficult for us to help the children in a
classroom setting. We also have to consider the safety and progress of other
students," said a school counsellor. Some believe that schools and parents
must put the child's best interest at the fore. "The casualty in a fight
between the school and parents is the child. School counsellors are trained
to identify ADHD; they must bring parents on board. Schools need to give
parents the time to process the information and parents come around once
they feel there are no repercussions for the child to get tested. Early
identification is critical," said Upasna Saraf, special educator, Bombay
Cambridge Gurukul.


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