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By: Bashir Ahmad Thokar

A bitter truth about the administrators of schools is the discrimination and denial of admissions to children with special needs. A number of such cases are faced by the special educators working in our state of J&K. The main reason behind this is a common myth that the disability of a Child with special needs (CWSN) may affect the whole class. There are some other excuses made by some school administrators that Children with special needs (CWSN) can’t be educated in regular classes, and some also go to the extent to say that there is no fun of educating a disabled child as he/she is ultimately supposed to live whole life as a disabled person! All myths-criminal, ignorant and discriminatory!

A common complaint of parents of children with special need is that their wards are not enrolled in the schools because of their disabilities. Their disabilities are becoming barrier in the way of their education, progress and development. Education is the only way to improve and raise the standard of life of Children with special needs (CWSN). Administrators must take a review of the provisions for such students and make sure their enrolment in an inclusive setup and develop a positive attitude towards the Children with special needs (CWSN). While some schools deny the admission to such students but at the same time some schools and administrators welcome the students with disabilities and provide them all facilities to adjust in the mainstream education (inclusive education).  Need of the hour is to take them (CWSN)  as an equal part of our society.

We have developed a negative and narrow vision for children with special needs. The hurdles for these children begin from their homes (parents, siblings, neighbours and relatives) and didn’t even stop in the schools. Some teachers even say that send these students to special schools. As there is no provision of special schools now, and recent trend of educating children with special needs (CWSN) is inclusive education, so this provision should be accepted and adopted by general school administration.

The need of the hour is to break the traditional myths about children with disabilities. Awareness programmes, teacher orientations, parental counselling and environmental building programmes organised by SSA/RMSA now SAMAGRA SHIKHSA are very helpful to change the attitude of parents, teachers, peers  and other  administrators and need to execute such programmes on periodic basis.

Different provisions and laws approved by the Govt. need to be oriented to the school administrations. In Persons with disabilities act PWD 1995 and Right  to education act 2009 Govt. of India has approved different provisions for the education of the children with special needs.

Attitudinal barrier hampers education, social and personal life of children with special needs and also becomes a barrier towards progress and betterment of CWSN. Need of the hour is to change our attitudes towards these children.

Development of the Concept that children with special needs are an integral part of our society should be a common slogan and they should be given equal opportunities in all the fields without any discrimination on the basis of their disabilities as mentioned in the persons with disabilities act (PWD) 1995.

Children with disabilities may have varied special needs, a general teacher in collaboration with special educator may help the child to meet his special needs in an inclusive setup. The only point is that these students should be accepted by the regular schools and should be given education in mainstream (inclusive education), this will help them to develop their social and personal life.

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