Children with Special Needs (CWSN) studying in regular schools in Coimbatore Education District would have better facilities from this academic year.
Child-friendly toilets for differently abled, ramps and hand-rails in school buildings and strengthening resource centres for CWSN were given importance in Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA)’s activities under Inclusive Education for Differently Abled (IED) this year. An SSA report states that Coimbatore Education District excelled in providing facilities for differently abled children by conducting 148 surgeries and distributing assistive devices to 968 children, the highest across the State.
According to SSA District Coordinator for IED, irrespective of the number of differently abled children studying in schools, the buildings will be made disabled-friendly.
An amount of Rs. 206.02 lakh was allocated for civil works under IED. Around 350 schools would get modified toilets at Rs. 50,000 per unit at a total cost of Rs. 1.74 crore. Around 130 schools would get ramps with hand-rails at Rs. 16,000 each, amounting to Rs. 20.96 lakh, and 316 schools would get hand-rails costing Rs. 3,500 per unit at Rs. 11.06 lakh.
Special assessment card for differently abled children called ‘Individual Education Plan’ was remodelled this year to focus on the disability category to trace the students’ improvement in basic skills and performance of CWSN. The child’s improvement in factors such as motor skills and behavioural features would be closely monitored based on this.
Out of the 7,025 CWSN identified in the district, 5,414 students were studying in regular schools while the rest were provided education and assistance through day-care and resource centres. Exposure visits for around 250 students at Rs. 87,000 would be arranged and Rs. 50,000 allocated for giving training to parents.
According to the coordinator, there is very little awareness about CWSN and many parents fail in identifying their wards’ problems and needs. An inclusive sports meet for CWSN is also planned to be held in September-October this year.
Out of the 1,250 children covered under home-based education, 100 students with severe disabilities would continue to get Rs. 100 a month for travelling to nearby schools or resource centres.