Dharmendra Pradhan | Pic: EPS
Dharmendra Pradhan | Pic: EPS

KVs, JNVs required to reserve 3% seats for disabled students: Pradhan, on Day 1 of Parliament Winter Session

Dharmendra Pradhan also spoke about the measures taken to aid students whose mental health has been impacted by the pandemic and the disrupted nature of studies during the lockdowns

Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan had some points to make on Day 1 of the Winter Session of Parliament, on November 29. Among some clarifications, he also mentioned that Kendriya Vidyalayas (KVs) and Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas (JNVs) are required to reserve 3% of their seats for differently-abled students. A press release by the Ministry later outlined the measures in place for disabled students, including the exception from tuition fee, compensation of time during examinations and disability-friendly provisions being incorporated into the school building's design, according to the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (RPwD) Act, 2016. The act also ensures that students with more than 40% disability, also known as persons with benchmark disability, will be assured free education until they reach the age of 18 years.

The Ministry also referred to the Samagra Shiksha scheme that pushes for 'equity' at all levels of education. "Under Samagra Shiksha, there is a dedicated component for Inclusive Education for Children with Special Needs (CwSN) through which various provisions are made available for the educational needs such as, identification and assessment camps, provision of aids, appliances, assistive devices, teaching-learning materials (TLMs)," said the statement.

In response to a question by DMK MP A Raja on the impact of the pandemic on education, Pradhan claimed that in a survey conducted by the Education Department in early 2021 regarding the availability of various forms of digital devices with children, it was reported 92.95% of students in Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti (NVS) and 98% of students KVs had full or partial access to some digital device. 

Pradhan also spoke in the Lok Sabha about the measures the Ministry has taken in order to aid students whose mental health has been impacted by the pandemic and the disrupted nature of studies during the lockdowns. The initiative called 'Manodarpan' comprises activities that provide psychological support to students who might be suffering from mental health issues as a result of the pandemic. It also includes a toll-free helpline that students can call in dire situations.

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