Education is the foundation of any individual’s progress, be it “Normal” or “Special Abled”. In case of specially abled person, the need for higher, affordable and easily accessible education is more vital!
Looking at Indian scenario, especially in rural India, there is a lot to be done. There are 3 basic things needed for a school : Infrastructure, Properly trained Teaching Staff and the most important thing, the Syllabus. Now all these 3 should be specially abled friendly and should make them self-reliant, bright citizens of India.
Considering the constraint in resources (for infrastructure), why can we take the school at home(s)/ of specially abled people, in form of Mobile Education Centre for Inclusive Education, dedicated for all, specially abled as well as normal students. The Mobile Education Centre can be well equipped with all the necessary Assistive Technologies, so that a normal as well as specially abled student can learn together through the same Mobile Centre!
While clubbing specially abled students with the normal students, the speed of imparting education can be an issue, but it can be solved by providing the repetitive education with the help of specially abled friendly digital media(s). Let the specially abled student work with the digital media at his home, after the school hours.
Attitude of fellow students towards the SAP is also an issue. This can be handled with proper counselling and with the help of practical approach. If there are only 2-3 specially abled students and rest of them are “Normal”, the situation can help greatly to the SAP. After some initial hurdles, the SAP would start feeling normal and can be much better than those “Normal”!
This Idea of Mobile Centre can be of a great help as far as Primary Education is concerned, but for higher education we have to make sure they reach to the Schools/Colleges. This is more difficult part of the story, there are several factors affecting that SAP, which can demotivate him/her to go for higher education.
1. Financial Constraint: Considering the cost of higher education, it becomes a bad pie for SAP coming from middle class or lower middle class.
Solution: All levels of education in all the streams, should be made 100% free for SAP, even in the private, prestigious schools/colleges!
2. Transportation: Each higher level school/college should have one specially abled friendly vehicle, with fold-able ramp! In case of visually impaired or other special cases, student’s one family member/friend should be allowed to accompany the SAP not only while travelling but during the school/college hours also.
3. Syllabus: It should be formed in such a way that it can fit almost all kinds of SAPs, except the SAPs with multiple physical challenges.
In the next part we will see the other aspects of Inclusive Education! Hope to see you soon…