NEP 2020: Odisha schools to get special educators for students with special needs

One special educator or more, as per the strength of students with special needs in a school, will be employed in one school in each block from the next academic year
Representative image  | Pic: EdexLive
Representative image | Pic: EdexLive

According to the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, special educators will be employed in schools to provide free education to children with disabilities. This decision was made during a recent review conference with the SSEPD (Social Security & Empowerment of Persons With Disabilities) department, the Odisha Viklang Manch and other stakeholder departments on problems pertaining to the welfare of persons with disabilities. 

According to the decision made at the meeting, starting with the next academic year, one special educator or more, depending on the number of such students who require special education in a school, will be employed in one school in each block. The arrangement for free transportation of students with disabilities and special teachers will be arranged by the department concerned but could be taken up at a subsequent stage, according to a representative of the SSEPD department, stated a report by The New Indian Express.

Odisha Viklang Manch has been demanding free education for special students till PhD and 5% reservation in each college for a long time and this was also discussed in the meeting. Details such as the education of students with disabilities apart, the issue of reservation of seats for persons with disabilities (PwDs) in public and private buses and discounts on fares were also discussed in the meeting. The manch members resented that they are not receiving proper treatment, despite the fact that reservations for seats and discounts on fares can be availed while travelling via government-run public transportation networks. In addition, private buses are not adopting the policy, they said, as reported by The New Indian Express.

In consultation with bus owners' associations, it was decided that the Commerce and Transport department would give RTOs (Regional Transport Offices) the appropriate instructions as per the Motor Vehicle Act to strictly abide by the provisions and ensure adequate facilities for PwDs. PwDs with UDID (Unique Disability ID) cards will receive a discount when booking tickets with their escort. By introducing a logo or sticker that is prominently displayed on the bus, the co-passengers and employees will be made aware of the needs of people with disabilities who travel.

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