Few educators in MCD schools for special kids
By Rashi Agarwal - NEW DELHI
Published: 08th Jul 2012 12:18:00 PM
Almost three years have passed since the Delhi High Court ordered the appointment of at least two educators for special children in Delhi government-run schools, but this initiative remains far from taking off in the capital. Delhi has around 25,000 special children enrolled in Delhi Government, Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), and New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) schools, but only 250 special teachers have been appointed for them.
It was in September 2009 that the high court ruled every school should appoint two special educators for special children. The court had allowed six months for the recruitment and deployment of such teachers.
Akash (name changed), an 11-year-old boy with speech and hearing impairment, is a typical case. He studies in a government school, and has been asked to come to school only once in two weeks, when the special educator is present. “Akash wanted to study. Considering his interest, we got him admitted to the school but nothing is happening there. My child is sent back home regularly because there is no special educator to teach children like him,” says Akash’s father.
Such a state of affairs extends across other schools. “How will 250 teachers cater to the needs of 30,000 children enrolled in over 2,500 different schools?” asks social activist Bharti Ali. “Different organisations have been highlighting this issue but the government is not ready to break its silence over it. What is the use of implementing the RTE, if the government at the Centre is itself making fun of it?” Ali adds.
On May 18, the Delhi High Court again granted three months to the state government to finish recruitment of special educators in schools. The deadline is about to expire but no special teachers have been appointed.
After the court’s earlier order, the government had set up a recruitment board, creating 926 posts for special teachers who were to be appointed by January 2011. The MCD had also announced the creation of 1,700 posts of special teachers. The government and the civic agency have not appointed even a single teacher on a permanent basis, says Ashok Aggarwal, a lawyer and social activist who works for the benefit of special children, and in response to whose petition the high court had issued the May 18 order.
The matter, Aggarwal said, is currently stuck at the Delhi Subordinate Services Selection Board (DSSSB), a Delhi government department which handles recruitment of staff in MCD, NDMC and government schools. Chairman of MCD’s Education Committee Mahendra Nagpal says, “This is the duty of the Delhi government. We have been writing letters but there has been hardly any action. It is very embarrassing for us.”