The National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 was designed with the central aim of offering “high-quality education for developing and maximizing our country’s rich talents and resources for the good of the individual, the society, the country, and the world.” One big step that this education policy has taken towards inclusivity is to provide “barrier-free access to education to children with disabilities.” There is provision to ensure that teacher education programs include “Knowledge of how to teach children with specific disabilities.”
In line with these ideas, the National Institute of Open School (NIOS) developed high-quality content to teach Indian sign language, children with special needs are given the alternative of regular or special schooling, and special educators will be trained to rehabilitate and support the needs of learners with severe disabilities.
It’s Pro-students, take advantage of it
- Education has long been established as a basic right of every human being along with food, clothing, and shelter. NEP 2020 takes a definitive step toward ensuring that everyone has the right to demand education, irrespective of what disabilities they may have. So, ask for your right, and don’t be afraid to place your demand for a learning methodology that will be attuned to your needs.
The new policy also gives students the freedom of choice to decide which subjects they want to study, drop the subjects that they do not have the aptitude for and pursue subjects that will help them follow their career interests.
It’s about slow learners or learning difficulties students, not normal students
The National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP) had proposed many changes to make education “accessible, equitable and inclusive” and is working towards forming policies for higher education too. Some prominent features that you must be aware of are –
• Disabled children can fully participate in the regular schooling process. An inclusive Education system means that students with and without disabilities learn together.
• While preparing the National Curriculum Framework, NCERT will ensure that consultations are held with expert bodies such as the National Institutes of DEPwD.
• Schools/School complexes will be provided with resources to integrate disabled children
• Special educators with cross-disability training shall be recruited for children with severe or multiple disabilities.
• Students will be provided with assistive devices and teaching-learning materials as some of the provisions of government to learn freely
• Adequate attention will be paid to the safety and security of children with disabilities.
• The choice of Home-based education will continue to be available for disabled children who are unable to go to school and they shall be treated as equal to any other child in the general system.
• Assessment and certification agencies will formulate guidelines for conducting assessments.
Creating the right environment
Parents and children need to become aware of these provisions to take complete advantage of the inherent benefits. it has been specified in the NEP 2020 that schools must create provisions for disabled students to receive a safe, inclusive, and effective learning environment in which they are comfortable. They have even made provisions for one-on-one tutoring, peer tutoring, and open schooling for children who have special needs. The aim is to normalize a classroom where children with different capabilities can study and learn together.
Parents must take correct information from the right sources to know what provisions the school is expected to provide. The NEP 2020 has many actionable points that will make education easily accessible even for those with learning disabilities. With proper guidance and awareness among parents about the right of their children, they can help them fulfil all their aspirations.