Number Of Children With Special Needs Underestimated

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New Delhi, Jul 1 (UNI) Government efforts to provide inclusive education for children with special needs (CSWN) themselves suffer from some deficiencies, an expert report indicated today.

For one, State governments appear to have underestimated the number of CSWN, according to a Standing Committee of the Central Advisory Board on Education.

The Standing Committee on 'Inclusive Education for Children and Youth with Special Needs' was set up 16 months ago under the Chairmanship of Maharashtra School Education Minister Vasant Purke.

Its findings were given to Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh by Prof Purke, an HRD Ministry statement said.

Only 17 States furnished data on identification of such children and ''only a few compiled it for 6-14 age group,'' the statement indicated.

It also noted that ''the percentage of CWSN identified seems to be low'' and stressed streamlining ''their identification.'' The Committee also underscored better training ''to produce teachers who are fully aware of their responsibilities in the inclusive set-up.'' The group also stressed developing ''effective monitoring mechanisms to assess both the quantitative and qualitative progress and issues in inclusive education.'' The report emphasised revising ''pre-service and in-service teachers training curriculum at all levels'' as well as modifying BEd Special Education curriculum.

The Committee includes School Education Ministers of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Jharkhand and Himachal Pradesh and experts and representatives of related Ministries, Departments, agencies and academic institutions.

UNI MJ RL ND1938

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