Showing posts with label disabled children education. Show all posts
Showing posts with label disabled children education. Show all posts

Thursday, July 3, 2014

India becomes first country to ratify Marrakesh Treaty - first step towards access to published works to print disabled

Dear colleagues,

India has become the first country to ratify the Marrakesh Treaty to facilitate access to published works for persons who are blind, visually-impaired or print disabled. This treaty would  go a long way towards establishing equal rights and opportunities for education and employment for persons with print disabilities.

Like any other international treaty/ convention, it will come into force the day the 20th country ratifies it. So far, 79 World Intellectual Property Organisation member states have signed the treaty, however they are yet to ratify it. The treaty ratified by India on June 30,  2014 will facilitate import of accessible format copies from member states by authorised entities in India such as educational institutions, libraries, etc. serving the needs of visually-impaired persons.

"The development will also facilitate translation of imported accessible format copies and export of accessible format copies in Indian languages," said the statement issued by Ministry of HRD on the subject. The Indian Copyright (Amendment) Act, 2012, is reportedly already in harmony with the Marrakesh Treaty.

Here is a related news from OutlookIndia

India Takes Global Lead in Empowering the Blind to Read

भारत मर्राकेश समझौते को समर्थन देने वाला पहला देश बना

पत्र सूचना कार्यालय
भारत सरकार
मानव संसाधन विकास मंत्रालय
02-जुलाई-2014 15:09 IST
मर्राकेश समझौता नेत्रहीनों के लिए प्रकाशित कार्यों तक पहुंच सुलभ कराने में होगा सहायक
भारत 30 जून, 2014 को नेत्रहीनों, दृष्टि बाधित व्यक्तियों के लिए प्रकाशित पुस्तकों/कार्यों तक पहुंच सुलभ कराने में मदद से जुड़े मर्राकेश समझौते को समर्थन देने वाला पहला देश बन गया है। अभी तक विश्व बौद्धिक संपदा संगठन (डब्ल्यूआईपीओ) के 79 सदस्य देशों ने इस समझौते पर हस्ताक्षर किए हैं। 20 देशों द्वारा इस समझौते को समर्थन दिए जाने के बाद मर्राकेश समझौता लागू हो जाएगा। 
संयुक्त राष्ट्र संघ में भारत के स्थायी प्रतिनिधि श्री दिलीप सिन्हा ने डब्ल्यूआईपीओ के मुख्यालय में एससीसीआर (कॉपीराइट एवं संबंधित अधिकारों पर स्थायी समिति) के 28वें सत्र के दौरान आयोजित एक समारोह में डब्ल्यूआईपीओ के महानिदेशक श्री फ्रांसिस गुर्रे को समर्थन पत्र सुपुर्द किया। 
मर्राकेश समझौते का मुख्य लक्ष्य नेत्रहीनों, दृष्टि बाधित व्यक्तियों के लाभ के लिए अनिवार्य सीमाओं और अपवादों के एक संकलन का निर्माण करना है। यह अनुबंधकारी पार्टियों द्वारा राष्ट्रीय विधि प्रावधानों के अनुपालन से ब्रेल जैसे स्वीकृत रुपों में प्रकाशित कार्यों के पुनर्निर्माण, वितरण तथा उपलब्धता सुनिश्चित कराने के जरिए किताबों की भीषण कमी की समस्या को दूर करने में सहायक होगा। साथ ही, यह समझौता ऐसे संगठनों, जो उनकी सेवा करते हैं, को इन पुस्तकों के विभिन्न देशों में आदान प्रदान की अनुमति भी देगा। जैसे ही मर्राकेश समझौता लागू हो जाएगा, यह भारत में लाखों नेत्रहीनों और दृष्टि बाधित व्‍यक्तियों के लिए प्रकाशित पुस्‍तकों तक पहुंच सुलभ करा देगा। यह उनके लिए शिक्षा और रोजगार के अवसरों तथा समान अधिकारों को सुनिश्चित कराने में भी मददगार साबित होगा। 

यह समझौता दृष्टिहीनों के लाभ के लिए काम करने वाले शैक्षिक संस्थानों, पुस्तकालयों जैसे भारत के अधिकृत संगठनों द्वारा सदस्य देशों से सुलभ फॉरमेट प्रतियों के आयात में भी सहायक साबित होगा। यह समझौता भारतीय भाषाओं में सुलभ फॉरमेट के आयातित प्रतियों के अनुवाद तथा सुलभ फॉरमेट प्रतियों के निर्यात में भी मददगार साबित होगा। भारतीय कॉपीराइट (संशोधन) एक्ट, 2012 मर्राकेश समझौते के अनुरुप है। 
Source: I Care India

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Goa Board to offer Custom Syllabus for Students with Disabilities

Gauree Malkarnekar,TNN | Mar 6, 2014, 02.11 AM IST

PANAJI: Children with special needs will now have their syllabus from Class IX to XII modified to their individual needs if they find it difficult to cope with the curriculum in force. The academic council of the Goa Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education has approved an improvised scheme for special children to be implemented for 2014-15.

Under the modified scheme, once a child is certified for a disability, the institution along with the child, will have to decide if he or she is capable of taking up one of the existing courses of study offered by the board or if a new course based on the primary structure of the syllabus will have to be framed by bodies of the board to meet the individual student's need.

"If a particular student is unable to sit in the classroom because of his or her disability or there are other such issues, a separate syllabus can be framed under the new scheme to meet the child's individual needs. The benefits of this revised scheme have now also been extended to higher secondary students," Goa Board chairperson Jose Remedios Rebello said.

The Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) will include a description of the individualized curriculum for academics and skills, specific objectives, teaching learning strategies and assessment procedures.

The revised Goa Board scheme lays more stress on assimilating children with special needs with regular school students.

"High school teachers of regular schools are already being trained under the Central government's Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) to sensitize them to recognize the needs of special children in a regular class. Goa Board's modified scheme will require regular teacher training programmes to include at least one module on types and characteristics of disabilities and observation of these characteristics in students. Training programmes will be organized for existing teachers," Rebello said.

The revised scheme requires that special children too be assessed through continuous evaluation and the format for it will be drawn by the board of studies.

The board will also certify special children answering the Class X and XII public exams differently stating their level of disability, the subjects selected, the mode of assessment and the level of performance (preferably through grading).

Students with disabilities will be provided with some general concessions like decreasing their writing load by setting objective type questions, allowing verbal responses for children with writing difficulties, overlooking directional mistakes in maps in geography, awarding marks for the method employed in mathematics, pardoning the errors in calculation arising out of writing numbers in the wrong order, evaluating the content of answer rather than the syntax or structure and spelling errors and allowing point-form writing etc.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Kolkata Teachers believe children with disabilities are careless, insincere, doubtful and rigid!

Teachers prejudiced against disabled kids, says Indian Statistical Institute study

Jayanta Gupta, TNN Oct 1, 2013, 04.35AM IST

KOLKATA: A study conducted among teachers in government- and government-aided schools in the city has revealed that most of them are prejudiced against pupils with disabilities.

According to the study, conducted by the Psychology Research Unit of the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI), a large number of teachers believe that children with disabilities are "careless", "insincere", "doubtful" and "rigid". So much for the government's initiative to promote inclusive education. A study conducted by the Psychology Research Unit of Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) in government and government-aided schools in Kolkata has revealed that a large number of teachers consider differently-abled children to be careless, insincere, doubtful and rigid.

The same teachers believe that children without special needs are "systematic", "confident", "sincere" and "responsive".

The research paper was presented at the Indian Science Congress with a view to impress upon the state government that our schools may still not be ready for inclusive education, which the government is trying to promote.

The study revealed some startling facts. "The most negative attitude towards children with disabililies was expressed by young teachers; those with postgraduate degrees; and those from high socio-economic backgrounds. Many of those who held this attitude have people with disabilities at home," said Sumana Dutta, a research scholar at ISI .

The institute collaborated with Bikashayan, an NGO, in carrying out the study.

To gauge the attitude of 1,472 teachers in Kolkata, researchers used what is known as a semantic differential scale. "In a semantic differential scale, respondents are asked to choose where his or her position lies, on a scale between two bipolar adjectives. This scale is used to measure opinions, attitudes and values," explained Dr Debdulal Dutta Roy, assistant professor of the Psychology Research Unit. In this case, some of the pairs of bipolar adjectives used were "careless and systematic", "insincere and sincere", "doubtful and confident" and "rigid and responsive". The questionnaire with 20 such bipolar adjectives was filled in by teachers, parents and administrative staff.

A complex statistical method known as "Principal Component Analysis with Varimax Rotation" was used to arrive at the results.

"We surveyed 1,829 people in all. While 1,472 were teachers, there were 262 parents and the remaining administrative staff. We noticed that the teachers had the most negative attitude. Teachers from north Kolkata had the worst attitude followed by those in the south and west," Dutta added.

According to Dutta Roy, who monitored the process, it was a surprise that some teachers who have children with disabilities also display this attitude. "This reveals that the teachers are not considering the limitations of a child with disabilities," said the executive council member of the International Association for Analytical Psychology. "The second part of the study revealed that most schools (government- and government-aided) don't have the infrastructure required for inclusive education. There is clearly a need for remedial teaching and psycho-educational teaching if inclusive education has to be successful. Maybe the teachers will need more training. For the moment, though, special schools can't be done away with."

In the second part of the survey, 293 schools were surveyed. It was found that 42% of these schools don't have their own drinking water facility. Resource rooms - remedial classrooms where students with special needs are given specialized assistanceare - absent in 95% of these schools. It was also found that 98% schools have no resource teachers.

"Though 98% schools consider a resource person beneficial, in more than 44% schools, such teachers pay just a single visit in a month. In 53% schools, the visit is just for an hour. More than 85% schools have untrained teachers. If there is a problem, how will these teachers react? The problem lies with the non-manipulative nature of our pedagogy. Things will have to be more manipulative if children are to receive proper education," Dutta Roy added.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

No private school is outside the ambit of Right to Education Act

Dear colleagues,

The Supreme Court on 12th April 2012 (Thursday) upheld the constitutional validity of the Right to Education (RTE) Act, 2009, which mandates 25 per cent free seats to the poor in government and private unaided schools uniformly across the country.

By a majority view, a three-judge bench of Chief Justice S H Kapadia and justices K S Radhakrishnan and Swantanter Kumar said the Act will apply uniformly to government and unaided private schools except unaided private minority schools. 

While upholding the Constitutional validity of RTE Act, Honorable Supreme Court of India has ruled that no educational institution - including the private schools (except the minority schools) are beyond the provisions of Right to Education Act. This particularly aids the marginalized segments including the disabled children to seek admission in the nearest school of their choice. The judgement will apply henceforth and not with retrospect.

40 percent teacher vacancies are still unfilled

However, I do not feel that this alone can ensure quality education to all children in India. Has the Government of India and those of various states given any thought to fill over 40 percent vacancies of teachers lying vacant. In Uttar Pradesh alone, the state government has  advertised vacancies of 72800 alone for primary level in 2011 which have not been filled up till date due to vested interest. Thousands of primary schools in UP are running on one Teacher and one Shikshamitra only whereas there is a requirement of minimum 5 teachers to man the school. Consider the quality of education when the sole trained teacher goes on leave!

Similarly, in Karnataka, about 30 per cent of the 76 lakh primary school children  go to unaided private schools, mostly in urban areas, according to District Information System for Education (DISE) data. A 25 per cent reservation in Class I for the disadvantaged/economically weaker sections in these schools would impact about 1 per cent of the school-going child population. 

Accordingly to recent government studies,  at primarily level alone,  in addition to the 5.23 lakh vacancies, another 5.1 lakh teachers are needed to meet the pupil-teacher ratio specified under the Right to Education Act. Of the teachers already on the job, 7.74 lakh are largely untrained or without the needed qualifications.

At secondary level, the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan requires that 1.79 lakh new teachers be appointed with special focus on teachers for English, mathematics and science.

The court order is welcome and the spirit behind the reservation of seats in private schools is  laudable, however the priority and focus of India’s education system should be on what needs to be done to improve the quality of education in government schools, where 80% of our children are enrolled. The huge challenge that the state faces in addressing the deficiencies of the education system can be explained through the existing teacher-pupil ratio in rural India. 

Quality of Education in Govt School is driving parents to Private Schools

Similar is the situation across the nation. Can the Government ensure quality of education with such ill trained manpower. Isn't this a purposeful ploy to degrade the state education to such low level that the gullible parents and children are forced to opt for private schools? 

In a recent visit to a remote small village in UP, I learnt that a private school has come up in the recent past in that small village in past few years. Though the children of the village have their names on the rolls of the State run government school while most of them went to the private school for education. Few children  who continue to go the state run school were the ones whose parents were so poor that they could not afford the school fee. I was surprised to see that even those who went to private school were not very good financially. One could imagine at what cost the parents were sending their children to private school in the hope of a good future of the child.  I had an opportunity to visit both schools and I saw the difference. The only teacher available in the Government school told me that they could either complete official paper work and mid day meal or control (not teach!) the children from different classes under one roof. The teacher shared that it was just not possible for a single teacher to manage 5 primary classes, paper work of the school, maintenance of registers, preparing mid day meal and also attend to miscellaneous duties of election etc for which they get deployed by the state government.  

Need of focusing on improving quality of Govt Schools

The RTE Act is a historic piece of legislation because it gives a legal right to free education to children between the ages of six and 14 and makes the government responsible for providing it. And the RTE implementation must focus on improving standards in government schools. Need is to correct the skewed  teacher-pupil ratio and whole education infrastructure to generate the confidence in people. The states have to come forward with a political will to ensure that the rights of compulsory and free education becomes a reality and poor are not forced to send their children to private schools at the cost of essential requirements of life such as food, health, house and clothing.

Mechanisms & political will to regulate private schools

Another issue is how to implement the RTE in private schools. The state is not able to provide this right in their own school then how will they implement this in the private school is a huge question that is haunting the concerned citizens. The capitation fee/ donation is though banned under this Act, however, there are several ways the private schools can bypass this.  Hence, unless mechanisms are proposed and strictly implemented, I don't see the benefits of such a wonderful legislation would be reaped by the "aam admi" of this nation.