Leveraging online education for children with special needs


By Pabitra Margherita

According to the 86th Constitutional Amendment Act, 2002 free and compulsory education for all children in 6 – 14 years of age group is a Fundamental Right under Article 21-A of the Constitution. This Act not just covers every child irrespective of their economic background, caste, creed, and gender, but it also covers a more neglected section that is, children with special needs (CwSN).

The National Education Policy 2020 which has been released under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi Ji recognises the importance of developing enabling mechanisms to provide Children with Special Needs (CwSN) with the same opportunities for quality education as any other child.

Children with special needs confront the greatest educational obstacles. Their access to school is frequently hampered by societal stigma, a lack of teacher training, and an inability to comprehend the special needs of these students. These students are frequently confronted with an unconducive school environment that lacks classroom support and methodical and thematic learning materials tailored to their specific requirements.

As per the 2011 Census, there were 26.8 million persons with disabilities in India, which corresponded to 2.21% of the total population of 1.2 billion. Clearly, children with special needs confront the greatest educational obstacles; their access to school is frequently hampered by societal stigma, a lack of teacher training, and an inability to comprehend the special needs of these students. These students are frequently confronted with an unconducive school environment that lacks classroom support and methodical and thematic learning materials tailored to their specific requirements.

Also Read | Experiential learning: How Heritage Group of Schools aims to reshape mainstream education  

Chief Minister of Assam Himanta Biswa Sarma Ji has taken the lead among states and announced full implementation of the NEP across Assam by March 2023. He also recently announced a Rs.5000 crore plan to revamp the physical infrastructure in government schools of Assam. Work has started in schools and the target is to reach 4000 schools with modern teaching facilities. The CM said the idea is to “convert educational institutions of Assam into centres for human resources development”.

Traditional offline methods, such as Special schools under the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) and the concept of inclusive education, have reached their limit in terms of their ability to benefit special children. Every student learns at their own pace, for example, a special student who falls under the category of physical disability with a lost limb may be able to grasp things faster than someone with autism or ADHD who have a lesser attention span. Children with learning differences often find it difficult to cope with traditional curriculums and classroom setups.

Though the COVID pandemic has played a calamitous role in recent history, it has as a by-product compelled the IT, health, and educational sectors to develop modes of e-learning that cater to all ages of children for their mental and physical development, allowing them to realize their full potential and integrate more effectively into society. To meet the issues provided by the demand for e-mode education, substantial efforts have been undertaken to prioritise the needs of children with special needs. A consequence of this activity is the provision of educational modules for education aimed at Children with Special Needs.

Ministry of Education recently announced the launch of e-content and gave a set of guidelines that particularly targeted e-content for CwSN. The Department of School Education and Literacy, Ministry of Education had constituted a committee of experts that recommended that textbooks may be adapted into Accessible Digital Textbooks (ADTs). The content of ADTs would be provided in multiple formats (text, audio, video, sign language, etc) with turn-on and turn-off features. Further, ADTs would provide flexibility to CwDs to respond to its content/exercises in multiple ways.

Also Read | Delhi Nursery Admission 2023: Registration process to begin from December 1

India’s greatest edtech startup story recently acquired an American company called Osmo. Through Osmo, they want to provide “phygital” education, creating interactive learning games that allow children to use real-world objects to connect with the digital…



News Read More: Leveraging online education for children with special needs

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More

Get more stuff like this
in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox.

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.