Provision of equal opportunity of education of disabled children

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The Disabled Children:

Impairment, disability and handicap are not synonymous terms. These are distinct and separate terms. A child might have a physical impairment and be disabled, but may not feel handicapped at all.

Another child, who has no physical impairment is not disabled and is tremendously handicapped. Not every impairment result in disability and not every disability result in handicap.

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Impairment refers to biological forces, the disability to how a culture deals with impairment and the handicap to how the individual deals, with physical impairment. It is important for the teachers to become familiar with these three distinct concepts.

(a) Impairment:

Impairment is nothing but the physical defect of an individual. It is the biological aspect of life. It develops either due to overwork or accident or due to hereditary factors. It decreases mobility limits the range and depth of interpersonal and social relationships, which causes psychological problems.

(b) Disability:

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Disability is the behaviour evolving from the impairment. Impairment imposes limitations upon an individual capacities and levels of functioning. Frequent or prolonged periods of hospitalization, medical treatment and need for special drugs may develop disability.

Disability in this sense is temporary. Disability has a cultural aspect also. How the culture of a particular society deals with impairment, determines disability. In most cases, the negative feelings and reactions from physically able children may develop a tendency towards disability. The visually impaired or the hearing impaired or the mentally retarded persons are permanently disabled. This impairment prevents them from doing certain occupations in life.

(c) Handicaps:

Anything is a handicap, if it prevents someone from doing what he wants or ought to do. Handicap as a technical term which refer to conditions such as blindness, deafness or very low intelligence, which most people ag.ee the disadvantageous

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But there are bound to be disagreements about where the line is drawn between minor and real handicap and of course, there can be paradoxical cases where real handicap is turned to advantages – a beggar’s livelihood from defect or deformity, a serious wound that takes the soldier away from the danger of the fighting, a child ailment that gains him special sympathy.

There are ten officially recognised categories of disabled children requiring special educational facilities – children who are (1) blind (2)partially sighted (3) deaf (4) partially hearing (5) educationally I abnormal (6) epileptic (7) mal-adjusted (8) physically handicapped (9) affected by speech defect and (10) delicate.

The NPE1986 states, the objective should be to integrate and physically and mentally handicapped with the as, to prepare them for the normal growth to enable to face life with courage and confidence. The following measures will be taken in this regard.

(i) Wherever it is feasible, the education of children with motor handicaps and other mild handicaps will be common with that of others.

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(ii) Special schools with hostels will be provided, as far as possible at district headquarters, for the severely handicapped children.

(iii) Adequate arrangements will be made to give vocational training to the disabled.

(iv) Teacher’s training programmes will be reoriented, in particular for teachers of primary classes, to deal handicapped children.

(v) Voluntary effort for the education of the disabled will be encouraged in every possible manner.

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Education of the socially and economically disadvantaged sections

Education for Women’s Equality (NPE Recommendations) :

Provision of educational opportunities to women has been an important programme in the education sector since independence. Between’ 1951 and 1981, the percentage of literacy amongst women improved from 7.93 percent to 24.82 percent.

However, is absolute numbers, illiterate women have increased during this period from 158.7 million to 241.7 million (excluding Assam). Women comprise 57 percent of the illiterate population and 70 percent of the non-enrolled children of school stage are girls. In spite of the efforts made so far, the education system has not been able to make sufficient contribution towards women’s equality.

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