Disabled students left in lurch in TS
Court of RPWDs slaps notices to the senior officials of the Education department on recruitment of 616 special teachers in government schools
Hyderabad: As repeated pleas to the State government and the State School Education authorities for the last five and half years fell on deaf ears the Special Educator's Forum –India (SEFI) knocked on the doors of the State Commissioner for Rights of Persons with Disabilities (RPwDs).
Following this, the Commissioner of RPWDS B Shailaja slapped notices on the State Education Secretary Dr B Janardhan Reddy, Commissioner of School Education and Ex-officio State Project Director of Samagra Sikha Abhiyan, Vijaya Kumar asking to submit an action taken report (ATC) within a month's time on filling of 616 school assistants (special teachers) posts.
The RPWDS' action came following the negligence shown towards the children with disabilities in the State for the last five years in violation of the existing laws and government orders.
Speaking to The Hans India, SEFI, national convener, Kalpagiri Srinu said "there is no one left in the lowest to the highest rank official in the State School Education Department (SSED) whom we have not met in the last five and half years submitting representations.
Similarly, we met the State Education Minister and State Education Secretaries as well as the Chief Secretaries. But, all our pleas have fallen on deaf ears and action was taken regarding children with disabilities in schools."
This, despite there are clear government orders and statutory stipulations under the Right to Education (RTE) and Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, he added.
Giving details of the sorry state of affairs relating to the schoolchildren with disabilities in Telangana, he said, the Centre had rolled out the scheme of Inclusive Education for Disabled at Secondary Stage (IEDSS) under Rashtriya Madhyamika Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA).
This is meant for enabling all children and young persons with disabilities to have access to secondary education.
Under the scheme, every school is proposed to be made disabled-friendly. This scheme supports the appointment of special teachers, provision of resource rooms and removal of architecture barriers in all school.
The special teachers will provide counselling with the parents, help in identifying the needs of Children with Special Needs (CwSN), etc. Following this, the State government in erstwhile AP had sanctioned 1,476 school assistant (Special Teachers) post under CSS of IEDSS in the existing government secondary schools.
After bifurcation of the State, while AP got 860, the TS got 616 posts of school assistants (special teachers).
Further, the AP had either merged or clubbed the 860 posts with the Andhra Pradesh Education Subordinate Services (APESS) and issued orders permitting the School Education Commissioner of AP to take steps for filling up 70 per cent of the 860 posts. But, the TS is yet to wake up to act upon the issue.
It was against this backdrop that the SEFI had to approach the RPwD court. And, the commissioner in her notices warned the authorities non-compliance of the notice amounts violation of section 93 of RPwD Act, 2016.