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Disabled children - Shanmugam IAS academy in coimbatore
Disabled children


What’s in news?

More than one in four children with disabilities between ages 5 and 19 in India have never attended any educational institution, while three-fourths of five-year-olds with disabilities are not in school.

Key data’s:

  • A report by UNESCO and the Tata Institute of Social Sciences released on Wednesday recommends structural, funding and attitudinal changes to ensure that no child is left out of the right to education.
  • The UNESCO Report unveiled that, the number of children [with disabilities] enrolled in school drops significantly with each successive level of schooling. There are fewer girls with disabilities in school than boys.
  • In 2014-15, there were more than 15 lakh children with disabilities in primary school. Two years later, enrolment had dropped by more than two lakh, data shows. At the higher secondary school level, there were less than 63,000 such children in 2016-17.
  • According to UNESCO, India is home to eight million children with disabilities, and 45 per cent of them fail to attain literacy. Globally 15 per cent of people are disabled.
  • The report states that in India, 75% of five-year-old with disabilities and a quarter of children with disabilities in the age group of five to 19 years do not attend any educational institution.
  • As per 2011 census data, the report showed that there are more than 78 lakh children with disabilities in the country between 5-19 years.
  • 8 million children under the age of 19, accounting for two per cent of the child population, are living with disabilities and that their population is disproportionately left out of the education system as compared to the overall proportion of out-of-school children.
  • Only 61% of them were attending an educational institution. About 12% had dropped out, while 27% had never been to school at all.
  • Only 20% of children with visual and hearing impairments had never been in school. 

Education at home:

  • Experts say the situation is worse than what the statistics show as the government data on enrolment includes home-based education.
  • In many parts of rural India, if a parent opts for home-based education, the child may not be getting an education at all. The number of excluded children is much higher than government data shows.
  • The Right to Education Act mandates enrollment, but not the provision of resources needed for the actual education of a child with disabilities.

Report’s recommendation:

Implementation of;

  • Amendments to the RTE Act, 2009.
  • Right of Persons With Disabilities Act, 2016.
  • Effective convergence of all education programmes for children with disabilities.
  • Adequate budgetary allocation.
  • Strengthening of data systems for planning, implementing and monitoring.
  • Enriching school ecosystems and involving all stakeholders;
  • Ensuring no child with disability is left behind;
  • Transforming teaching practices;
  • Building positive disposition towards children with disabilities in the classroom and beyond, and fostering effective partnerships involving government, civil society, private sector and local communities.

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