Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Samagra Shiksha launched in 2018-19, has dedicated Inclusive Education component for the education of Children with Special Needs (CwSN), says Annpurna Devi

New Delhi : The Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Samagra Shiksha launched in 2018-19, has dedicated Inclusive Education component for the education of Children with Special Needs (CwSN). It aims to look at education of CwSN in a continuum from Pre-Nursery to Class XII. The scheme covers all children with special needs with one or more disabilities as mentioned in the schedule of disabilities of the Rights of the Persons with Disabilities (RPwD) Act, 2016 studying in Government, Government-aided and local body schools. The objectives of Inclusive Education (IE) under Samagra Shiksha are as under:

  • To enable all children and young persons with disabilities to have access to inclusive education and improve their enrolment, retention and achievement in the general education system.
  • Identification of children with disabilities at the school level and assessment of her/his educational needs.
  • Provision of aids and appliance and assistive devices, ICT resources like JAWS & SAFA, as well as transportation, escort & scribe allowances to the children with special needs as per requirement and stipend for all girls with special needs (from pre-primary to XII).
  • Removal of architectural barriers in schools so that students with disability have access to classrooms, laboratories, libraries and toilets in the school.
  • Supplying appropriate teaching learning materials, medical facilities, vocational training support, guidance and counselling services and therapeutic services to children with special needs as per their requirement in convergence with line departments.
  • General school teachers will be sensitized and trained to teach and involve children with special needs in the general classroom. For existing special educators, capacity building programmes will be undertaken.

A separate provision for financial support of Special Educators has been made under Samagara Shiksha in order to appropriately address the educational requirements of children with special needs from elementary to higher secondary levels. Samagra Shiksha also has provisions for ramps, handrails and disabled friendly toilets for barrier free access to schools for all children.

In addition, CBSE being sensitive to the needs of disabled students provides several exemptions/concessions to CWSN as defined in The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act – 2016 such as issuing authority of Medical Certificate, facility of Scribe and compensatory time, appointment of Scribe and related instructions, fee and special exemptions for class X like exemption from third language, flexibility in choosing subjects, alternate questions /Separate Question and special exemptions for class XII like flexibility in choosing subjects, separate question paper and questions in lieu of practical component.

The integrated scheme of Samagra shiksha provides support for training of Teachers, School Heads and Teacher Educators in the State Councils of Educational Research and Training (SCERTs) and District Institutes of Education (DIETs) as per specified norms. Further, the Department of School Education and Literacy, Ministry of Education launched a National Mission to improve learning outcomes at the Elementary level through an Integrated Teacher Training Programme called NISHTHA – National Initiative for School Heads’ and Teachers’ Holistic Advancement on 21st August, 2019 under the Centrally sponsored Scheme of Samagra Shiksha. The face to face training was conducted from August, 2019 to mid-March, 2020. However, in view of the COVID pandemic, online NISHTHA training for elementary teachers was launched on 6th October, 2020 and the remaining training was conducted online by NCERT on the DIKSHA platform using high quality professionally made e-content. The concerns of Children with Special Needs (CWSN) are also addressed in NISHTHA training, wherein a specific module on inclusive education has been included in the training.

In 2021-22, NISHTHA has been extended to Secondary level and for Foundational Literacy and Numeracy (FLN). NISHTHA 2.0 for secondary/senior secondary level teachers was launched on 29th July, 2021. NISHTHA 3.0 focusing on FLN for teachers and school heads of pre-primary to class V was launched on 7th September, 2021.

The details of teachers trained in the last five years is given below:

Year Number of teachers
2018-19 3139876
2019-20 4945727
2020-21 2678996
2021-22 1336837
2022-23 1141986

                        Source: PAB of Samagra Shiksha

The information was given by the Minister of State for Education, Smt. Annpurna Devi in a written reply in the Lok Sabha today.

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