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‘Ring the Bell’ for facilitating inclusive education for children

 

SHILLONG: Children with disabilities rang the bell and played the drums with enthusiasm for one minute as a message that inclusive education should be accessible for all children in Meghalaya at the “Ring the Bell” campaign organised at Bethany Society on Wednesday.

Speaking to reporters, Bibhudutta Sahu, project director of RAISE-NE said that the campaign was to make inclusive education mandatory and practiced in all SSA schools and all educational institutions.

“Since there is a new government in Meghalaya we hope the issue of SSA very seriously and make inclusive education mandatory in all schools we are engaged with,” he said.

“Right to education is a right of every child irrespective of the disability or a child with disability or without disability. A lot of children are unable to attend school because of accessibility issues or classroom adaptation in which material available is not suitable for the child,” he said.

The Ring the Bell campaign is being held simultaneously held in five states of North East, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Nagaland and Tripura.

It is a programme organised by Jan Vikas Samiti and it is phase –I of the campaign in which the RAISE-NE hopes policy makers will give their attention to the inclusive education.

“In most of the schools, the teachers are not able to teach them (students with disabilities) and hence rejected. The teachers don’t know the classroom transactional skills as the materials available are only for children with abilities,” Sahu said.

RAISE-NE are looking to work with 75 schools in the whole of NE and set them up as model schools.

“We are looking at 90 pragmatic model schools in the whole of the North East which then we hope that the SSA will take up after the project is over,” he said.

Thirty teachers are trained by RAISE-NE who have been trained intensively over the last two years who will in turn train and assist the SSA teachers on the ways to approach children with disability.

In Meghalaya, there are eight teachers who are being trained as there are four partners.

“We are looking at a very complex form of cooperation with the government, NGOs and teachers,” Sahu said.

RAISE-NE is looking at increasing the enrollment of students with disability in schools, retention and their performance in the annual examinations.

“We are also revamping the assessment system. “We are looking at different forms of assessing the child,” he added.

There was also a signature campaign and the words written on the banner is “All children are welcome to school, including children with a disability.”

 

 

 

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