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Children with Special Needs left out of Class
Over half the kids described by the government as “Children With Special Needs” or CWSN are not in school. In response to an RTI filed by lawyer – activist Khagesh Jha, of the 20,759 CWSN identified across the dozen school districts, 11,463 are out – of – school.
Northeast District is the worst – performing in this regard, with 1,820 CWSN out of school, followed by the south district with 1,543 children. But in the south district, CWSN in school – 1,929 – outnumber those out of it; it’s the highest number in Delhi.
Interestingly, the figure of 11,463 has featured in Directorate of Education ( DoE ) orders before. Over June – July 2012, the DoE had conducted a survey to identify CWSN of school – going age in Delhi. The fact that a year and two “Special Admission Drive[s]” later, the status appears unchanged is startling.
The first drive was conducted from 7th November, 2012 to 12th December, 2012. As per the order announcing the second one, issued on 25th July, 2013, “1,249 have been placed in government schools.” The RTI data – from October 2013 – does not reflect this.
|TOI Takes a Look at Education of Children with Special Needs ( CWSN )|
|District||Not in School||In School||Total|
|North West A||1,065||819||1,884|
|North West B||732||952||1,684|
|South West A||387||596||983|
|South West B||732||952||1,684|
“They must not have included the increase in enrollment,” says Amit Singla, director, education. The number enrolled in the latest drive – held over July – August – is still not available.
Jha is not buying it. “They’ve sent two copies of the same charts but the numbering is sequential. I think there’s been no change of status and that’s why they’ve sent the same tables twice.” He also wonders who did the enrolling considering “there were barely any teachers for this group at the time.” However, even including the 1,249 in the count leaves over 10,000 CWSN out of School.
“We hold an identification drive every year and have camps at which we provide aids and appliances. Plus, there are several types of financing that are funded by the centre,” says Singla.