Friday, August 8, 2014

Special Educators & Barrier Free Private schools remains a distant dream despite Court Orders

Dear colleagues,

Please refer to my earlier blog entry titled  Delhi High Court directs the private schools to make their schools barrier free and inclusive dated 07th May 2013 detailing the implications of Delhi High Court Judgement in WP(C) 4618/2011.   The Department of Education, Govt. of Delhi has been sleeping over this judgement dated 05th Sep 2012 in the matter titled Social Jurist Versus Govt of NCT of Delhi  [WP (C) 4618/2011](click on the case number to access the Judgement) indicates how serious the government has been on the issues related to the education of the children with disabilities in Delhi.

The government made no efforts to ensure whether the judgement was implemented in its true letter and spirit by the strong lobby of private unaided schools. It only woke up after the matter has been again taken up through another PIL titled Pramod Arora Versus Lt. Governor of Delhi  & others [WP (C) 1225 of 2014] in which the Hon'ble Delhi High Court passed another judgement  03rd April 2014.   (click on the case number to access the Judgement).

Now the Directorate of Education, Govt. of Delhi vide its Notification No. DE-15/Act-I/WPC-1225/2014/25415-25416 dated 04.08.2014 regarding appointment of special educators & making the buildings/ schools premises barrier free to provide access to children with disabilities has directed the Private unaided schools to update the data whether they have made appointments of special educators in their schools or not and whether they ensure barrier free environment in their schools as per the directions of the Hon'ble Court in the above two judgements. A copy of the above notification is pasted below in the image format.



We hope the Govt. will be serious this time to bring the defaulting private unaided schools to book and ensure that the inclusive education becomes a reality.


Media Coverage: Daily Pioneer


Tuesday, 05 August 2014 | SR | New Delhi

After facing the ire of the Delhi High Court, the Directorate of Education (DoE) on Monday issued a notice to all unaided private schools of Delhi to recruit special educators and make their schools premises barrier-free so as to provide movement and access to the children with disabilities. The notice has been issued by the directorate following a mandate by the High Court asking for a compliance report at the earliest.

According to a notice issued by Additional Director of Education Madhu Teotia, the unaided private schools of Delhi must comply with the 2012 order of the High Court which directed the schools to appoint special educators for disabled students.  The court granted time till September 9 this year to appoint these special educators and time till March 2013 to make the school premises barrier-free. The matter of appointment of special educators for the disabled children and other connected issues, have again been agitated before the High Court during the proceedings of another case, wherein, the court directed the department to submit a compliance report with regard to the same along with other related directions,” Teotia said.

The notice also highlights that despite several reminders to private schools, this matter was not taken seriously. Teotia had asked the schools to upload special educators and disabled children related information on a module which has been made available on the Directorate of Education website.

“However, it has been found that most of the schools are still to upload the requisite information on the website. Therefore, in strict compliance, private schools must upload the requisite information regarding disabled children on the department's website on the aforesaid module immediately if not done so already. They should additionally appoint special educators in their schools, if not appointed so far, at the earliest but not later than the time granted by the court. They must also make their building, school premises barrier-free for the disabled children immediately, if not done yet,” Teotia informed.

To ensure complete compliance of the mandate, Teotia has asked all Deputy Directors of Education to monitor this case on top priority as “being a High Court matter even contempt of the court is involved.”

The Deputy Directors of Education are expected to bring the status report in this case on August 6 to a meeting with Director of Education Padmini Singla. They are supposed to also bring along with them the names of the defaulting private schools and initiation of action against such schools. “Non-compliance of the order shall be viewed seriously,” informed Teotia.  
--




No comments: