Thursday, January 23, 2014

MISUSING THE RTE ACT

The RTE (2009) says that children with special learning needs should also study in mainstream schools.


MUMBAI: City schools, in a bid to ensure a hundred per cent pass rate, are increasingly asking students with learning disabilities to leave after class 9, say educationists.
A few days ago, a Vile Parlebased school tried to dispense with 14 class 9 students by coercing them into accepting transfer certificates (TC), said a child psychiatrist on condition of anonymity. A TC is a mandatory requirement for getting admission into another school. “The school called up the parents and asked them to move their children to a special school. These parents are approaching other schools for admission now but are being turned away from there as well,’’ he said.
Psychiatrist Harish Shetty said that new schools admit such students with learning problems to make much of their inclusive policy.
In many schools, it is the counsellors who have been accused of advising to remove the students. “Three days ago, a four-year old boy was sent to us with a certificate from the school counsellor stating that he was unfit to study in the school. The certificate did not have any proper registration number, which is mandatory for such papers,’’ said Dr Samir DalwaI, developmental pediatrician. Dr Anuradha Sovani of the Institute for Psychological Health said most schools are not clear about who can be appointed as a counsellor. “Schools are appointing self-anointed counsellors who are wrongly advising schools. Schools should check their before appointing them,'' she said.

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