Authorities neglecting schools for children with special needs

By Shubhankar Chakravorty

BANGALORE (Nov. 29)—Schools for children with neuromuscular and developmental disabilities are few, exclusive, and not backed by government initiatives—in violation of the Disability Act of 1995.

“The government is not doing enough for the intellectually challenged unlike for the physically challenged,” said the principal of a city based special school, preferring to be not named.

Teachers say that the lack of government spending pushes them away from the few government-run schools.

“It is tough for someone to come for teaching in special schools where salaries are as low as Rs. 3,500 per month,” said Usha Ramanathan from the Asha Rehabilitation Centre.

Institutions that provide specialized guidance without government assistance have to pay for specially trained teachers and specialized infrastructure which pushes up the tuition.

Parents are forced to pay extremely high prices to provide their children with a quality education.

“First there were no good special schools in Bangalore and now there are schools to cheat people,” said Ms. Pushpa, who brings her 17-year-old daughter Sneha for speech therapy at the Asha center.

Mr. Rajanna, the disability commissioner for the Karnataka government could not be reached for comment.

There are a few special schools that have a network for placing graduates into regular schools after they complete the integrated school.

Some even go to job-training facilities to train other children like themselves.
This shows that with a little bit of assistance these schools and the children who attend them can go a long way.

(Published in The SoftCopy)


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