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Children with special needs in cradles cry for educators

Thu, 07/12/2018 - 14:47 -- koshy.mathew@ey...

Hyderabad: Tens and thousands of school children identified with various kinds of disabilities are left in the lurch in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh following non-appointment of special educators for the last four years. 

According to sources, there are 11,000 secondary schools for which both the States have been receiving funds under the Right to Education Act (RTE) from the Centre. 

And, as per the Section 3,8(c) and (c) of the Right to Education Act, 2009 it provides for taking care of children with special needs and to facilitate effective and meaningful inclusion of children with disabilities in schools.
Speaking to The Hans India, a senior official from the Commissionerate and Directorate of School Education (CDSE), Telangana said that the Union HRD Ministry had sanctioned nearly 1,476 special educator posts with 100 per cent financial assistance way back in 2012. 

Accordingly, the then united AP government under former Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy had issued a GO. However, following the bifurcation of the State, the special educator posts had been divided between the two Telugu States, with AP getting 860 and the TS getting 616 special educator posts.

When contacted sources in the Directorate of School Education (DSE), they said a GO was issued in 2014, clearing the decks for the recruitment of special educators. However, even after holding three District Selection Committee (DSC) examinations, the State government is yet to give its nod for the filling up the special educator vacancies.

Contrary to this, Kalpagiri Sreenu, national convener, Special Educators Forum - India said the CDSE had issued fresh guidelines for the recruitment of teachers making those studied special education not eligible to take part in the recruitment process. 

Following this, “We had approached the State High Court, as the tweaking with the eligibility criteria by the CDSE amounts to the violation of guidelines of the National Council of Teachers Education (NCTE). And, the court had asked the CDSE to follow the guidelines of the NCTE,” he added.

However, to date, there are no efforts made either by the CDSE or the State government to fill the 616 special educator vacancies sanctioned by the Centre with 100 per cent financial assistance. Following this, students with special needs studying in Class IX and X are deprived of teachers with suitable qualifications to take care of their education.

In addition to this, Centre has been extending financial assistance in the ratio of 60:40 to appoint special educators for the appointment of special educators for students studying classes up to Class VIII. Even in this case too, out of 1,184 special educator vacancies in Telangana, there are only around 850 working on contract basis in various schools and in a similar number in Andhra Pradesh.

When contacted, Andhra Pradesh State Principal Secretary Education Aditya Nath Das said recruitment of 860 vacancies is going to be included in the recruitment process of the ensuing DSC notification which would be issued soon. 

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