Mainstream Education and Model Schools

Mainstream Education and Model Schools

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The People with Disability (PWD) Act 1995 and the Right to Education Act (RTE) reinforce APD’s approach of promoting inclusive education for socio-economically challenged children with disability (CWDs), but the reality presents a grim picture.

Retaining children with disabilities in schools is a huge problem and we see 60-70% of them drop out after primary education. Class X (SSLC) statistics show that out of approximately 15,000 age-eligible disabled children in the State, only about 17% appeared for the board examinations last year, with a passing percentage of under 50%.

This is a clear indication that there is a need to prepare children with disability from marginalized backgrounds for formal education. And ensure they are enrolled and retained in mainstream schools in an inclusive, disabled-friendly environment.

Our Objective

To ensure that our mainstream education initiatives in Bangalore reach more children with disability through a three-pronged approach:

  • School preparedness program for children with severe and multiple disabilities through three Community Learning Centres
  • School support programs that support children with disabilities in Model Schools and Secondary School Programs in classes V through X in different mainstream schools
  • Capacity building of stakeholders: parents, teachers and government officials, providing orientation sessions on disability, inclusive education and barrier-free environments

Road Map

  • Identification: Through data from government agencies and our own surveys in the several wards, a few children with disability, between classes V and X, are identified from various schools. Any identified drop outs will be encouraged to seek readmission in schools.
  • Assessment and planning: All identified children with disability undergo clinical and educational assessment. Individual education plans (IEPs) and individual rehabilitation plans (IRPs) are developed. The IEPs are shared with their teachers to sensitize them and help them effectively monitor the progress of the children with disabilities. Based on the IRPs, select children with disability receive mobility aids and a few others undergo therapeutic intervention to enhance their mobility and functional ability. All children with disabilities are enabled to access government social security schemes such as pension, transport passes etc. A marginal number of children with disabilities receive support for home level accessibility such as furniture modifications, ramps & railings, toilets etc.
  • Camps and interactive events: The children with disability participate in two camps (20-day summer holiday camp and 10-day Dussehra holidays camp) where they are reassessed and their progress analyzed. Inputs are provided on areas of weakness. The children take part in art, sports and cultural activities through the duration of the camp.

    Two interactive events are held in model schools for all children under the school support and secondary education programmes, which encourage peer-to-peer interaction and sensitize the non-disabled children and teachers.

    An annual sports meet is conducted for children under the programme in partnership with other NGOs and special schools. This is a mega event in which numerous children and their parents participate.
  • Focus on adolescents: Adolescent children (12-15 years) from both school support and secondary school programmes are organized into groups and provided counselling on issues affecting them. This helps them remain focused on their education and improve retention rates.
  • SSLC examinations: Class X students receive special inputs on career guidance. They are also supported with inputs on alternative learning methods. APD helps them prepare for their board examinations by supporting Class X students in need, with tuition fees (partially or fully).
  • Capacity building: Parents, teachers and government officials/other stakeholders are provided orientation on disability management, inclusive education, rights-based approach and government social security schemes. This encourages parents to get involved with the progress of their children, present their views on the matter and sensitize teachers and government officials about an environment where more children with disabilities can effectively access their rights.

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APD’s mainstream education programs in Bijapur and Davangere

APD has been working in the districts of Bijapur and Davangere for the last 5 years and has reached out to about 1200 children with disabilities last year, providing education and rehabilitation support. Our effort is to ensure that the children with disabilities realize their right to inclusive education. And if retention rates in schools increase to at least 60%, more children with disabilities will get a chance to access mainstream career opportunities.

  • Model Schools: Based on our experience in facilitating development of eight model schools in the Bangalore district, we plan to partner with four government schools in Bijapur and Davangere. We are currently working in Davangere and Harapanahalli taluks in Davangere district and Bijapur and Basavanabagevadi taluks in Bijapur district.

    APD will help evolve one model school in each taluk to make it disabled-friendly in terms of both infrastructure and learning and to create a positive atmosphere for inclusion of children with disabilities. 10 children with disability will be provided support in each Model School. The objective is to develop institutional models that will be recognized and be replicated within the community and by the government.

    Technical support will be extended to 4 model schools to:
    • Train staff, parents and other stakeholders on disability needs and inclusive education
    • Create a barrier-free environment for inclusion of children with disability
    • Sensitize the community and local government to recognize the approach and in turn support more schools
    • Give inputs on special education, adaptive learning devices and assessment processes
    • Build partnerships to make the model sustainable so that the educational requirements of children with disability are fulfilled
  • Secondary School Program: In line with the goals of Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RSMA), APD identifies children with disabilities, studying in classes V through X in various schools in East Bangalore. These children are encouraged to continue their education and be provided with necessary rehabilitation support. APD’s efforts will include:
    • Encouraging inclusion and retention of children in 35-40 mainstream schools in classes V to X in order to ensure at least 70% continue their education in the following academic year
    • Conducting clinical and educational assessment and develop individual education and rehabilitation plans
    • Providing support for rehabilitation and access to government social entitlement schemes
    • Sensitizing relevant stakeholders through capacity building of parents/ teachers and government officials to ensure that the children with disabilities receive all necessary support to enhance their learning and continue their education
    • Engaging in active advocacy with the RSMA (Education Department) and DDW (Directorate of Disability Welfare) for effective implementation of schemes for children with disabilities

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