HYDERABAD: It was in 2012 that the GO 341, directing the recruitment of 1,476 special educators for students with hearing, visual, auditory and mental disabilities, was released in erstwhile Andhra Pradesh. The GO was issued under the Central government’s Inclusive Education for Disabled at Second Stage (IEDSS) scheme, giving students with disabilities completing Class 8, an opportunity to complete the more difficult years of secondary schooling in an inclusive and enabling environment.
Seven years later, city-based special educators allege that while there are nearly 43,500 students with disabilities who complete Class 8 in State’s government schools, only 7,000 of them complete Class 9. City’s special educators suspect that this is due to lack of a specialised medium of instruction as per the disabilities which makes explaining academic material quite challenging.
Post-bifurcation, AP was to employ 860 educators, Telangana was supposed to employ 616. However, to this day no recruitments have been made in Telangana. “The AP government on June 30 held exams for recruitment for special educators. However, the Telangana government has still not moved on our petition,” noted Kalpagiri Sreenu, a registered special educator in the city.
Kalpagiri, along with other educators, had approached the State Commission for Persons with Disabilities, urging that the right to education for children with special needs (CWNS) was not being implemented in the State in its true spirit. However, to date, the plea, filed in April 2018, has not come up for hearing. “Since repeated pleas to the Director of School education failed, we approached the State Commissioner for PwDs to look into it,” added Kalpagiri. However, the Commissioner of PwD department said no such petition had been received as recruitments were not done as the posts are already filled.
Telangana schools lacking in PwD preparedness
A question raised in the 17th Lok Sabha session revealed that enrolment of children with special needs in Telangana government schools forms only 0.85% as per the 2017 Unified District Information on School Education. The response also found an increasing need for scribes, additional time, and infrastructure adaptations for CWNS.