Time and again, the authorities introduce policies to facilitate the development and education of children. But oftentimes, policies aren’t enough; if left unenforced or not followed in the true spirit, these very regulations fail in their purpose.
Over the years, a number of cases have come up where children have felt cheated by the very system which seeks to uphold their fundamental right to education. For instance, the fact that teachers in many schools are still not adequately trained to identify students with learning disabilities. This denies the children the opportunity to avail of concessions, like an exam writer.
The need of the hour is to change the education system let’s alter the rules and regulations in order to accommodate children’s needs better. This should be the ultimate goal and focus of the entire system. The government should focus on counselling and sensitivity in teacher training programmes, since it is because of untrained teachers that thousands of children with special needs go undetected. Another roadblock is the government’s insistence on documents to prove a student’s ‘difficulty’ before he or she can be allowed a concession. Due to this, kids with problems like Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) fall through the cracks.
It’s these changes, and more, that could transform the fortunes of an entire generation, which is at present fighting for their right to education. It’s time to enable those who have been left disabled by a dysfunctional system. Thankfully, some of these changes have already been adopted in a select few schools.
In the recent ICSE/ISC results, not only was there an increase in the number of special-needs children who appeared for the exams, but many of them fared exceptionally well. Several city-based ICSE schools reported that all their students with learning disability passed with distinction. Parents gave the credit for this to schools and the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE), which made the process of applying for concessions smoother. Hopefully the authorities are paying attention and learning from this.