Ensure admisssion to children with special needs or face action: DSEK to schools

Students outside school in Kulgam district of south Kashmir. [Photo: Facebook/Govt Girls Model Higher Secondary School Kulgam]

Srinagar: The Director of School Education Kashmir (DSEK) on Friday issued a circular addressing the concerns raised by parents, civil society members, and disability rights activists regarding the denial of admissions to Children with Special Needs (CwSN).

The circular highlights the importance of implementing the provisions of the Right to Education (RTE) Act of 2009 and the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (RPwD) Act of 2016 to ensure equal access to education for all children.

According to Section 3(2) of the RTE Act, “a child with a disability shall have the right to pursue free and compulsory elementary education.”

Furthermore, the RTE Amendment Act of 2012 introduced the definition of children with disabilities and other measures to support their education.

“Despite these legal provisions, complaints have been pouring in about schools denying admission to children with special needs,” the DSEK circular reads.

Recognizing the need to include children with disabilities in mainstream education, the circular highlights various initiatives and steps being taken to create an inclusive learning environment.

These measures include formal identification and assessment of children with special needs, barrier-free access to and from the school premises, and appropriate teaching aids within inclusive classrooms.

To ensure that the educational rights of children with special needs are upheld, the circular instructs all relevant officers, including Joint Directors (SED), Chief Education Officers, Cluster Heads, and Zonal Education Officers, to guarantee that no school denies admission to children with special needs.

“The aim is to create an inclusive and equitable learning environment for all children, regardless of their abilities,” it reads.

The circular also serves as a reminder to all school heads, both in government and private institutions, that denying admissions to Children with Special Needs is strictly prohibited.

“Any deviation from this directive may result in disciplinary action against the responsible parties as per the established rules and regulations,” it reads. (KNO)

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