Lack Of Special Facilities And Teachers Hamper Prospects:
In Gujarat, around 37.38% of disabled kids in the age group of 5-19 years are not attending education institutes or have quit studies. However, this percentage was 38.83% nationally, with the situation in the state marginally better than the national average.
Senior officials in the state government said that the number of students dropping out at school level is very high among those with disabilities. The students find it difficult to cope the with demands of higher education.
Moreover, there are no qualified teachers for these students, especially those who are visually-impaired.
Speaking on the issue, minister of social justice and empowerment, Atmaram Parmar, said “We are working seriously to solve the problem. The government has also decided to start grant-in-aid schools in collaboration with non-government organizations.“
“We will give complete grant for starting such schools, and two such schools are also being set up in the state,“ said the minister, adding, “Moreover, the government is also ensuring that those disabled, who can study , are admitted to these special schools.“ “The state government has a reservation policy for disabled, but it exists only on paper. It is not effective implemented. No wonder, most students with disabilities drop out of higher studies as there is no job security ,“ said an official on the condition of anonymity .
According to Census 2011 figures, in Gujarat, there are 2.63 lakh disabled in the age group of 5-19 years, of these 41,754 students have quit studies, while another 56,903 ha ve never attended any education institutes. Those suffering from multiple disorders and mental illnesses form the lowest percentage of school-going children.
Officials said physically handicapped students face another problem. Travelling long distances for higher studies is a major deterrent and there are no government schemes to assist them in pursuing higher education.
When it comes to education of the disabled, Vadodara has the highest percentage attending schools.
Among big cities in Gujarat, Vadodara had 71% disabled children of school-going age attending schools, while it was 67.98% in Ahmedabad, and 61.52% in Rajkot. Surat has the lowest school attendance. Only 57% of the disabled population attend education institutes in Surat.