Bhubaneswar: Members of the Odisha Special Educator Federation for Divyang (OSEFD), an organisation that advocates for quality education for children with special needs (CwSN), has urged the state government for appointment of specially trained teachers in schools to teach CwSN students.
Ayusman Choudhury, joint secretary of OSEFD, said the Supreme Court in an order passed last year had spoken about appointment of special teachers in general schools in every state and union territory of India. Odisha should appoint teachers with specially trained teachers, he added.
“Thousands of children with special needs are being enrolled in normal schools, but they need special trained teachers to understand the subjects easily. A normal teacher will find it difficult to teach a hearing-impaired student, whereas a specially trained teacher can teach the student with ease,” said Choudhury.
Official sources said as many as 1,02,826 children with special needs (CWSN) from all 30 districts of the state were enrolled in normal schools in 2020-21. Of them, 11,227 students had mental illness and 10,493 children belonged to hearing impairment category. It has 5,456 students with blindness, 4,907 with cerebral palsy and 454 with autism spectrum disorder.
The state government has mentioned in his affidavit submitted in the Supreme Court that teachers with degrees like diploma, BEd and MEd in special education, who have registered their names with the Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI), are being recruited as Sikhya Sahayak/junior teachers/junior teacher contractual in general schools. About 1297 professionals having special education degrees have been recruited by the Odisha government so far.
Besides, 575 professionals having special education degrees have been appointed as block resource teachers (BRT) in the state.
Rakesh Kumar Sahu, a member of the federation, said the state has 62 special education training institutes with 1846 seats. “Every year, hundreds of students sit idle at home after completing their special education course and registering themselves in the Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI). We request the state government to appoint special trained teachers in the general schools for the sake of CwSN students and trained teachers,” he added.
He further said, “If this appointment is made, the children with special needs will not be deprived of education and more than 6000 special educator aspirants in Odisha will get benefit.”
Source: Times of India