Schools For Children With Special Needs In India
According to the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, 1.67% of India’s population between the age of 1 and 19 suffer from at least some form of a disability. There are 12 million children living with disabilities in India and 35.39% of all people with disabilities in the country are children.
That’s why one cannot emphasize the importance of schools for children with special needs strongly enough. Dyslexia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, cognitive disabilities and attention deficit disorder are some of the learning disabilities that children with special needs have.
Efforts for special needs school in India
A concerted effort has been made to integrate such children into the mainstream school environment and not just in special needs schools. The 1995 Disability Act guarantees the right to free education to all children with disabilities in India up to the age of 18. Some of the provisions under the Act include access to free transport, free uniforms, books and learning material and scholarships.
There are special needs schools for children with such needs. To get admitted into a special needs school; the parents of the child will have to submit a“disability certificate” which is issued by the Office of the Commissioner for Disabilities. It can be got from any government hospital.
Special needs schools for children
There are more than 2,500 special needs schools for children with disabilities in India. A few are supported by the government while a vast majority of such schools are run by NGOs and private institutions. Some of the best private schools in India that offer an excellent education to children with special needs include Vydehi School of Excellence, The Heritage School, Chettinad Srihari Vikasam and Akshar School.
It is our contention that children with disabilities should have the same right to education as normal children do and not be discriminated against in any way. The way forward is inclusive education which aims to address the learning needs of kids with disabilities and focuses on preventing their isolation and exclusion in the learning environment.
Education – equal opportunities to all
The idea behind inclusive education is to promote equal opportunities for all children to participate in the learning process, irrespective of their physical or mental abilities.
The world over, inclusive education is seen as the way to ensure the best possible education for all. The 1994 UNESCO Salamanca Statement and Framework of Action on Special Needs Education states “Regular schools with an inclusive orientation are the most effective means of combating discriminatory attitudes, creating welcoming communities, building an inclusive community and achieving education for all.”
Medha Lotlikar, a Mumbai-based special needs educator and trustee of the Saraswati Mandir Trust which runs two special needs schools explains how inclusive education is given the highest importance in the West, especially in Australia, Germany and the US and hope for the same in India. In fact, in the US, schools get additional grants for admitting children with disabilities.
However, this is more easily said than done. Suzan Machado is a mother of a young man with learning disabilities. She fought a case back in 2006 in the Bombay High Court against her son’s then school (in Mumbai) for not giving him the concessions that he was eligible for as well as for detaining him when he was in his seventh standard.
Machado said in an interview back in 2006, “There is no awareness among teachers about learning disabilities. Once, a teacher told me that though she had given my son extra time, he still wasn’t performing well in exams.”
Not much has changed since then. Inclusive education for children with special needs still remains a pipe dream.
Meenakshi Atal is the Vice Principal of the famous Heritage School in Kolkata which is highly regarded for its inclusive education philosophy. In Heritage School, children with special needs are taught in the same learning environment as mainstream children. The school hires many special education teacher and has special programs to help such students to catch up with their mainstream peers.
Ms. Atal talks about her school’s philosophy: “Participation is key to academic inclusion and we ensure that the participation of the children with special needs in all mainstream activities happens to the best of their abilities.”
It is schools such as Heritage School and the number of NGOs that champion the cause of children with special needs that hold out a hope for a better future for such children.
Rimtimmers recommended following Special needs schools in India
Asha Kiran Special Needs SchoolAddress: HL 212, Esther Gardens, Jayanthi Nagar – Ramamurthy Nagar Road, Hormavu, Bengaluru – 560016 Phone No: +91-80-65616160
Tamanna Special SchoolAddress: Vasant Vihar, South West Delhi, New Delhi – 110057 Phone No: +91-11-26151572
Sparsh Special SchoolAddress: Plot No. 87, Opposite Ramalayam, Vivekananda Nagar Colony, Kukatpally, Hyderabad – 500072 Phone No: +91-40-64607480
Indian Mother & Child CareAddress: 564, J R Ghosh Garden, P.O Laskarpur, Pearabagan, Kamalgachhi More, Kolkata – 700153 Phone No: +91-9830888888
Satya Special SchoolAddress: Plot 6,7,8, E.C.R Road, Opposite Siva Vishnu Mahal, Near Shivaji Statue, Karuvadikuppam, Pondicherry – 605008 Phone No: +91-413-2263592
Swabodhini School for Special ChildrenAddress: #21, 2nd, Rajagopal Street, Thiruvanmiyur, Chennai – 600041 Phone No: +91-44-24452485
Snehanilayam Special SchoolAddress: Civil Line Road, Chembumukku, Edappally, Kochi – 682021 Phone No: +91-484-2422441
Behavior Momentum India NoidaAddress: H-41, Sector 51, Noida, Uttar Pradesh – 201307 Phone No: +91-9900096529
Fame IndiaAddress: 156, 2nd Main, 36th Cross, Near-City College, Jayanagar 4th Block, Bengaluru – 560082 Phone No: +91-80-22446622
V-Excel Educational TrustAddress: #10/23, Thiruvengadam Street, Perumal Koil Thottam, Ramakrishna Nagar, Raja Annamalai Puram, Chennai – 600028 Phone No: +91-44-24956373
Beautiful Gate Special SchoolAddress: No.14/1B, Yedhalli Village, Rayanakere Post, Jayapura Hobli, Mysore, Karnataka – 570008 Phone No: +91-9742795163