The State of the Education Report for India 2019 – with a focus on Children with Disabilities was launched by UNESCO in New Delhi on 3rd July, 2019. The report highlights the accomplishments and challenges with regards to the right to education of children with disabilities (CWDs) in India.
The report acknowledges India’s efforts towards the promotion of inclusive education through legal frameworks, programmes and schemes. In addition, it recommends measures to ensure quality education aligned with SDG 4 – ‘Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all’
A set of 10 recommendations emerged at the end of the report. These were –
· Amend the RTE Act to better align with the RPWD Act by including specific concerns of education of children with disabilities
· Establish a coordinating mechanism under the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) for effective convergence of all education programmes of children with disabilities
· Ensure specific and adequate financial allocation in education budgets to meet the learning needs of children with disabilities
· Strengthen data systems to make them robust, reliable and useful for planning , implementation and monitoring
· Enrich school ecosystems and involve all stakeholders in support of children with disabilities
· Massively expand the use of information technology for the education of children with disabilities
· Give a chance to every child and leave no child with disability behind
· Transform teaching practices to aid the inclusion of diverse learners
· Overcome stereotypes and build positive dispositions towards children with disabilities, both in the classroom and beyond
· Foster effective partnerships involving government, civil society , the private sector and local communities for the benefit of children with disabilities
As cited in the report, three- fourths of children with disabilities who are below 5 years and one- fourth in the age group of 5 to 18 years do not go to any educational institution, which is evidence to strengthen the existing schemes and programmes for children with disabilities.
Shishu Sarothi, in its domain of work also promotes Inclusive Education and hopes that this report would prove to be a solid tool for advocacy in the area of Inclusive Education.