Krishna Madan remembers how tightly he gripped his mother’s saree as he boarded a train from Warora to Delhi six years ago. The visually challenged boy, a shopkeeper’s son from Maharashtra, says the village school where he studied could not deal with his problems. “I could not follow what was being taught at my school. They could not explain it. None of the teachers knew how to teach a student like me,” says Krishna, who undertook the long journey in search of better education. The JPM Senior Secondary School for the Blind near Delhi’s famed Khan Market opened new vistas for Krishna who wants to pursue his passion for Hindustani classical music as his career.
Plight of challenged students
There may be countless such Krishnas who are not lucky enough to find a school to chase their dreams. A national survey on ‘out of school children’ in India by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) reported that Children with Special Needs (CwSN) form 28.07% of the total number of children not in schools. For a group that faces a lot of challenges in their daily lives, the education system has been no kinder to them. This is evident from the high drop-out rates. As per the last census, among educated children with disabilities, only 59% complete their 10th standard.
Gap in Pupil to Teacher Ratio
Efforts are not lacking on the part of policymakers to include CwSN in mainstream ed