Volume 9 Issue 4 - May 01, 2012
Amendments to R.T.E. passed by Rajya Sabha; mixed bag for disability sector
D.N.I.S. News Network, India: Amendments to the Right to Education Act that makes education a fundamental right for children between the ages of 6-14, were passed by the Rajya Sabha on April 24. Among other things, the Amendments included children with disabilities in the disadvantaged category making them eligible to be considered under the 25 percent reservation and widened the definition of disability. However, there is very little to cheer about as the Amendments have also given a choice of ‘home-based’ education for parents of children with severe disabilities. This clause is being seen as handing a perfect excuse to schools to turn away children with disabilities.
Radhika Alkazi, Founder and Director of Aarth-Astha said that choices cannot be exercised by parents who are helpless. “This Amendment will have huge repercussions on children with disabilities. Schools will happily push these children out of schools. Children will be stuck at home. On what basis has the Government added this flexibility where a fundamental right is being violated? This is not path breaking but sad” she said.
She is not the only one who has expressed such strong views. A newspaper report quoted Shireen Vakil Miller, Director, Advocacy and Policy, Save the Children saying, “Unless children with disabilities explore the world with non-disabled children, they will not be motivated to compete with them or gather strength to overcome their disabilities.”
“Children learn better with their peers. The Government should ensure that there are enough special educators in schools to take care of children with disabilities. It is also necessary to ensure that there is disabled-friendly infrastructure in schools,” she said.
Experts believe that schools will start terming many disabilities as severe in the absence of a proper definition. “Home-based education, followed in some schools at present, is supposed to act as a bridging gap. But it has failed because children get to study only twice a week and a child is deprived of studying with mates who attend school regularly,” the report quoted Anjela Taneja, Education Co-ordinator, Oxfam India.
In the March 15, 2012 issue, D.N.I.S. had carried interviews of noted experts on the issue of ‘home-based’ education. Poonam Natarajan, Chairperson, National Trust, had said that, “Home-based education will certainly take us a few steps backward.”
Readers would remember that Disabled Rights Group (D.R.G.) and its allies had put up a huge opposition in 2009 when the R.T.E. Act was passed by the Parliament without including children with disabilities. The protest finally led to the assurance from Kapil Sibal, following an intervention by the Prime Minister, that Amendments would be brought in to address this oversight.
DNIS is produced and managed by:
National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People
Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill
Mental Health Care Bill
CRPD Monitoring Report
- List of Awardees 2013 :NCPEDP MPHASIS Universal Design Awards (1.44 MB)
- List of Awardees 2012 :NCPEDP MPHASIS Universal Design Awards (804 KB)
- List of Awardees 2011 :NCPEDP MPHASIS Universal Design Awards (864 KB)
- List of Awardees 2010 :NCPEDP MPHASIS Universal Design Awards (623 KB)
SHELL HELEN KELLER AWARDS
NCPEDP-Shell Helen Keller Awardees 2013
- “In the absence of comparable information, most of the policy planning for people with disabilities is based on assumptions,” Dr. Sruti Mohapatra
- Nominations for the 3rd N.C.P.E.D.P.-MphasiS Universal Design Awards 2012 open
- Department of Disability Affairs likely to become functional soon
- Amendments to R.T.E. passed by Rajya Sabha; mixed bag for disability sector
- Kanchan Pamnani and Shivani Gupta attends C.R.P.D. Committee meeting in Geneva
- O.H.C.H.R.’s compilation on India’s U.P.R. mentions N.D.N.’s submission
- N.A.C. comes out with Draft Recommendations on the proposed new disability law
- Women and Child Welfare Department to formulate action points for persons with disabilities in Odisha
- Project on dyslexia wins India leg of Microsoft’s Imagine Cup
- 300 man-days likely for persons with disabilities under N.R.E.G.S.
- Draft guidelines for examination writing by blind and low vision persons to be submitted to M.S.J.E.
- No concrete decision on making D.U. disabled-friendly
- Haryana bans use of the word 'handicapped'
Disability News and Information Service is produced and managed by: