Accessible education for all children with disabilities in NEP: SJ & E Minister
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NEU-DELHI: The Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment, Thawarchand Gehlot, said that the new education policy will provide all children with disabilities with barrier-free access to education.

He said on Wednesday that knowledge of how to teach children with certain disabilities will be an integral part of all teacher training programs under the new education policy.

The Union cabinet approved the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 on Wednesday. The educational policy established in 1986 was last revised in 1992.

In a series of tweets, Gehlot highlighted some NEP points related to children with disabilities and those with a socio-economically disadvantaged background.

“Knowing how to teach children with certain disabilities will be an integral part of all teacher training programs,” he said in a tweet.

“Barrier-free access for all children with disabilities is made possible under the RPWD Act,” he said in another tweet.

He further said that tools and appropriate technology-based tools as well as language-oriented teaching and learning materials will be provided.

“NIOS will develop high quality modules to teach Indian Sign Language and other basic subjects using Indian Sign Language,” he added.

“According to the RPWD Act 2016, children with benchmark disabilities have the choice between regular or special schooling. Resource centers in conjunction with special educators support the rehabilitation and educational needs of learners with severe or multiple disabilities,” he said in another tweet.

He also said that the NEP provides schools and school complexes with resources for integrating children with disabilities, recruiting special educators with cross-disability training, and setting up resource centers.

“The Gender Inclusion Fund will be available to countries to implement the central government priorities that are critical to helping women and transgender children gain access to education (e.g. sanitary provisions Facilities and toilets, bicycles, conditional money transfers etc.)), “he said.

Arman Ali, Executive Director of the National Center for the Promotion of Employment of Disabled People (NCPEDP), welcomed the fact that the policy has been brought into line with the law on the rights of people with disabilities, but said there is still much to be done.

“We are pleased with the provisions of the National Education Policy. NCPEDP has been committed to the inclusion of students with disabilities since 2018. None of our changes were taken into account in the first revision. We are pleased that many of our recommendations have been incorporated and proposed everything has now been brought into line with the law on the rights of persons with disabilities, “he said.

“There is still a lot of work to be done, particularly in the field of higher education. We look forward to cohesion and collaboration within the sector to ensure that education is accessible, fair and inclusive, and we will drive implementation with the same spirit and solidarity “, he added .

Shameer Rishad, organizer of the disability rights of the NGO Javed Abidi Foundation, said that the disability sector must monitor this policy with the eyes of a hawk and use it for advocacy to challenge the system.

“Many guidelines are created with the best intentions, but only those that are effectively implemented benefit a community.

“The NEP 2020 refers to the 2016 RPwD Act in several places, whether it defines inclusive education or benchmark disabilities, but the reality is that the RPwD Act itself has not been implemented,” said Rishad.

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