Genesis ie Karnataka

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Genesis of Inclusive Education in Karnataka - From Integration to Inclusive Education

Understanding of Inclusive education in general is to provide equal opportunities for learning of all children which includes any child having barriers to learning; they may be disabled or disadvantaged in the society. In the Indian context Inclusive education is referred mainly for children with disabilities.

Karnataka is one of the pioneering states to initiate Integrated education for children with disabilities which is now called as Inclusive Education. Including children with special needs in regular schools started since 1981 with implementation of IEDC scheme which started under the Social Welfare Dept in 1981.In 1983 the scheme was shifted to Dept of Public Instruction under the Directorate of State education and Research & Training (DSERT) Under this scheme, the role of resource teachers was critical for mainstreaming and providing resource support to children with disabilities in regular classroom situations. Consequently, a major emphasis was given to developing trained personnel and therefore pre-service and in-service training programmes were started for teachers in 1990. The pre-service training programme was a one-year multi-category certification course conducted by twelve non-governmental organisations in Karnataka. As the training is not recognized under the RCI Act it was discontinued from 2006 - 07.

Besides implementation of the scheme by non-governmental organisations, this scheme was also implemented and monitored by the District Institutes for Education and Training (DIETs). The DIETs trained regular teachers through 42 days training program for implementing the scheme.

Overview of IE as a part of projects of Education Department

The District Primary Education Project (DPEP)

In Karnataka, the DPEP launched Inclusive Education (IE) program in 1995 with the goal of ensuring education to children with disabilities. To achieve the cherished goal - Education For All, major emphasis was given on training of personnel in the existing education system with consultation of Seva-in-Action (SIA). A pilot project for initiating Inclusive Education was planned for a block by capacity building of the existing teachers and developing a participatory approach at the block level. Based on the study a pilot project was developed in Karnataka with major emphasis on capacity building of the existing teachers to implement Inclusive Education. The aim of the project was to develop Multicategory resource persons (MRP) at cluster level to implement Inclusive education.

Janshala

In 1998, the Government of India along with five UN agencies implemented a block-based project in India called Janshala program wherein Karnataka was one of the states to implement it. The objective of the program was to ensure community ownership for education at school level. In Karnataka, the program adopted the DPEP model of inclusion where SIA trained 450 teachers covering 10 blocks. This program was implemented in the same 10 blocks as the Janshala, namely Sira, Madhugiri, Pavagada from Tumkur district; Arkalgud, Holenarsipura (H.N. Pura) from Hassan district; Hiriyur, Challakere from Chitradurga district; Honnali from Davangere district; Koppa from Chikmagalur district and Haliyal from Uttara Kannada district.

UNDP project

For the first time, two ministries worked in convergence, namely, the Ministry of Human Resource Development and the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, to develop a program under “zero rejection” of children with disabilities in regular schools. Inclusive education under SSA Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan(SSA), which is the largest program of the Government of India to achieve the goal of UEE, also includes children with special needs. Unlike other projects of the GOI, SSA covers all the districts of Karnataka ie 32 education districts at present. Though the initial work of SSA started in Karnataka during 2001, a separate Directorate was constituted in 2003. The overall objective of inclusion education according to SSA is “ to ensure that every child with special needs, irrespective of the kind, category and degree of disability is provided meaningful and quality education. Hence SSA has adopted a zero rejection policy” (SSA P&I Manual 2003). Inclusive education is an important component under SSA but its area of activities was limited to identification, assessment through conducting medical camps and providing aids and appliances besides developing training manuals and Teaching Learning Materials (TLMs) in few districts. SSA has received impetus with appointment of 5 Inclusive Education Resource Teachers (IERT) per block. Out of five, three are regular teachers of the government with additional training on disabilities. The other two are single disability or multi category trained special teachers. With the budgetary allocation increasing to 3000/- per child per annum, IE has been given a significant importance to include children with disabilities in mainstream education system.