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SSA Scheme benefits for Special children

The Central government is providing a number of facilities to children with special needs at various levels of education, Minister of State for Human Resource Development Upendra Kushwaha told the Lok Sabha on Monday.

While replying to a question in the Lok Sabha, the minister said an amount of INR 3000 for one child per annum, under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) scheme, is allocated for the interventions related to education of children with special needs (CWSN).

“The major interventions for the education of CWSN are identification, functional and formal assessment, appropriate educational placement, preparation of Individualized Education Plan, provision of free aids and appliances, transport and/or escort support, teacher training, appointment of resource teachers, therapeutical support and barrier free access,” the minister said.

“As per Unified District Information System for Education (2015-16), over 22.86 lakh CWSN are enrolled at elementary level of schooling,” he further informed.

Different other facilities under the SSA such as home-based education is also provided to children who have severe intellectual and physical disabilities and who cannot access neighbourhood schools.

“Home-based education is provided to a child, who after a comprehensive assessment by a team of doctors and specialists is recommended home schooling,” the minister said, adding, “Currently, 134229 CWSN are provided home schooling under the SSA,” the minister said.

To facilitate their access to neighbourhood schools, the disabled children are also given transport and escort facilities under the SSA scheme.

“Under the SSA, over 1.89 lakh CWSN and 2.09 lakh CWSN were provided transport and escort support respectively during 2016-17,” he said.

Talking about the facilities being given to special children at the secondary level, the minister said that his ministry is implementing Inclusive Education for Disabled at Secondary Stage (IEDSS) scheme as part of Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) to provide special children an opportunity to complete four years of secondary schooling (Class IX to XII) in an inclusive and enabling environment.

“Under the IEDSS scheme, the central assistance of INR 3000 for one child per annum is given, besides support for engagement of special teachers, equipping resource room, making school barrier free, orientation of parents, administrators, educationists,” the minister said.

“The scheme also has provisions for stipend for girls with disabilities at INR 200 per month under the student oriented component. Total 2.26 lakh CWSN have also been approved for coverage under the scheme in 2017-18,” the minister added.

Manmath Nayak

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