Parents of differently-abled children now have another incentive to send their kids to a mainstream school.
In a bid to further alleviate problems faced by such students in coping with their peers, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has asked schools to allow parents to provide an “aid” (an adult) to accompany the differently-abled student in the classroom.
The advisory, sent to all affiliated schools recently, is the latest initiative by the Board to encourage inclusive education.
Inclusive education is an approach that seeks to address the learning needs of all children, especially those who are vulnerable to exclusion.
This also implies to children suffering from Learning Disability in which a student may face problems in perception, communication, memory, attention or motor control.
The advisory to schools states: “Children with special needs face challenges in learning as they may not be able to focus on the teacher… Schools are advised to allow parents when they make a request to provide an aid so that individual attention is possible…”
“There had been instances where differently-abled children did not join school because parents were not permitted to send someone to accompany them,” said CBSE Chairman Vineet Joshi. “From now on, we expect schools to not turn down such requests.”
Many institutions in the Capital have already been offering individual attention to students with special needs through special educators.
The Shri Ram School, Vasant Vihar, for instance, has a team of seven special educators, who assist differently-abled students individually while a teacher is taking a lesson in the classroom. St Mary's School in Safdarjung, too, follows such practices.
The new advisory, however, may not go down well with all as it could amount to unwanted intrusion by parents.
“The idea is good. However, I think an aid should be permitted when both the parent and the school agree on it based on the child's Individualised Education Plan and not only when the former wants,” said Annie Koshy, principal, St. Mary’s School, Safdarjung.