CBSE checks facilities for special children

November 14, 2014

As part of its School Assessment in Inclusive Education, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has sought information from schools on efforts taken by them to provide a barrier-free environment to its students. The board has sought replies from schools on the kind of the infrastructure and academic support they are providing to students with special needs. "It is expected in the Persons with Disability Act 1995 and Affiliation Byelaws of the board that all schools should have a barrier-free environment. You are requested to give feedback on barrier-free environment in your school. This will help us in identifying schools with facilities for inclusive education," the CBSE stated on its website. The feedback form has an extensive list of questions on the efforts schools take to promote inclusive education. %Out of the 33 questions, some of those which schools need to respond to are whether it is open to giving admission to children with disabilities, availability of special educators, if the school is modifying the curriculum or evaluation system for children with special needs (CWNS) and% their involvement in curricular activities. Schools also have to fill up a detailed form on the infrastructure facilities available for CWNS. These include availability of ramps, lifts, toilets, railings alongside of walls, %signage system, modified furniture and barrier-free transportation. If schools% do not have these facilities, they are required to specify a time by when it will be %made available. Experts feel there is a need to identify schools which are lacking in this aspect. "Facilities for students with special needs are available only in schools where the resource centre or special educators are very strong but this number is very few. Most schools provide concessions only during class tests and the students are %left without help during the term or board exams," said Sonali Saini, founder, Sol's ARC, a centre for special education. The board is also in the process of creating a directory of resource persons for inclusive education through its website. "CBSE promotes inclusive education for children with special needs. A special educator, psychologist, psychiatrist, physiotherapist, speech therapist, mobility instructor and caregivers are the resource persons who can assist in inclusive education. CBSE invites resource persons to provide their details in online form," said the board.

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