More differently-abled children are going to school, but the gender gap to access education has risen each year since India launched an ambitious programme to get every child with disabilities into a secondary school.
A new NCERT study has shown that 11 out of 13 states that shared data on enrolment of differently-abled students have seen more students with disabilities go to school since 2009-10, when the UPA launched the Inclusive Education for Disabled at the Secondary Stage (IEDESS).
The scheme funds schools to build ramps, hire special needs teachers and put in place both curriculum and teaching aids to help educate differently-abled students.
But the NCERT study also shows that the benefits from the scheme are reaching boys disproportionately. In 2009-10, 43.57% of the differently-abled students in India’s secondary schools were girls.
A decrease in this number every year since then meant that in 2012-13, only 40.21% of the differently-abled students in secondary schools are girls. This gender ratio is below 40% in Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Nagaland.