New Delhi: The National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP), India’s leading cross-disability advocacy organization, released a White Paper on inclusive education titled “New Education Policy 2020- Opportunities and Challenges”, on Tuesday.
The report analyses the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 with special reference to inclusive education of children with disabilities.
The White Paper has been released in the backdrop of NEP (2020) which attempts a paradigm shift in education planning and transaction in the country.
The NEP focusses on inclusive education for all, however, the White Paper finds that unless and until children with disabilities are given an equal chance to access education in a conducive environment, the goal of inclusive education is far from being achieved.
Commenting on the release of the White Paper and status of the education in the country vis a viz access to education by children with disabilities, Arman Ali, Executive Director, NCPEDP, said, “It is encouraging to see that India’s New Education Policy (NEP) focuses on inclusive learning while emphasising not only on an individual’s cognitive capabilities but in the holistic development of social and emotional growth as well. However, as far as learning and education of children with disabilities is concerned disability-specific accommodations and training are insufficient and need to cover an extensive spectrum of requirements to achieve the goal of Education for All”.
The White Paper reiterates important recommendations to ensure that children with disabilities are included in the NEP 2020 and that no one is left behind. The need of the hour is a clear legal framework for inclusive education in India.
Laws should include concepts relevant in making systems inclusive, such as reasonable accommodation, universal design, and a wider understanding of them. Availability of trained teachers, provision of individualized support and reasonable accommodations, and teaching and learning in preferred means and modes of communication are needed in all sites of education.
A system of regular audit must be carried out on the status of all these sites of education and the information needs to be made available in the public domain
It also discusses that the NEP needs to be amended with a clearer definition of the nature and function of special schools and all existing special schools need to be formalized and included within the gambit of the education system.
Affirmative actions, food security, health, and other protections should be linked and ensured to facilitate the return and retention of children with disabilities in schools.
The White Paper further highlights the need of increasing budgetary allocation for ensuring quality education of children with disabilities and increasing its scope to secondary education.
Registered in 1996, the National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP) is the country’s premier cross-disability, not-for-profit organization working as an interface between Government, Industry, International Agencies, and the Voluntary Sector towards empowerment of persons with disabilities.
Also read: NEP 2020: Guidelines should be made for the promotion of gender sensitisation
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