On Wednesday, the center told the Supreme Court that it was “not practical” to establish a specific teacher-to-pupil ratio for special teachers of children with special needs in public schools given the uncertainty about how many such students there are. The government told a court headed by Judge A M Khanwilkar that the policy is to try to train as many public teachers as possible so that they can meet the needs of children with special needs and this is done on an “active scale”.
Additional General Counsel Madhavi Devan, who appeared at the Ministry of Education, said that there are public schools and private schools that cater for the special needs of children with special needs.
“In a public school, we believe that it is not possible and impractical to assign a certain percentage given the extent of the disability, given the uncertainty about the number of children in that classroom. So the policy is – try to train as many public teachers as possible to be able to meet. This is being done on an active scale, ”said the Deputy Secretary General of the Court, which also includes Judges Dinesh Maheshwari and CT Ravi kumar.
Second, the policy is also to try to make sure there are private educators and let the state government decide how many they want, if they specifically want it, the additional attorney general said.
The court, which was hearing a petition regarding the appointment of duly qualified specialized teachers to provide quality training and education to children with disabilities, has maintained its order in this matter. He told the court that nearly 4,000 government positions for people with disabilities have been identified and therefore they will now hold public office on a much larger scale than before, “Does the central government have relevant empirical data on – and wisely, how many children those with special abilities who have to attend school ”.
While Devan says that he does not have details about the area, but has a large number, he said that he will receive better instructions on the matter. The headquarters noted that in a given area, there may be more children with special needs for whom the authorities need to provide infrastructure and schools, and for this, it is necessary to develop a “flexible policy.”
Suppose, in a particular school, there are 10 students, you can have the ratio of at least one teacher to address the special skills problems. If there are 100 in a particular school, the same ratio will be 10 teachers for every 100 students. “It should evolve for you,” said the bank. Devan said the Department of Education feels it wants to leave this call to state governments based on their regional requirements.
The court also heard presentations from other attorneys, including attorney Shoeb Alam, who represented the petitioners. He argued that the requirement to determine the student-teacher ratio is a legal duty of the central government under the provisions of the RTE Act read in conjunction with the relevant regulations. He said the central government does not have the authority to delegate the power to determine the ratio to the states.
The center had previously told the Supreme Court that there is a component dedicated to educating children with special needs as part of the ‘Samagra Shiksha’ scheme and that support is being provided to meet its requirements in public schools.
In a further affidavit filed in court, the center’s government said that various provisions for children with special needs were included in the ‘Samagra Shiksha’ scheme and the support was increased from Rs 3,000 per child per year to Rs 3,500. He said that according to the data available with the Unified District Information System for Education, there are 22.5 thousand children with special needs in the country.
Regarding teachers, according to available data, 4.33 lakhs of public teachers have been trained to teach children with special needs in addition to educating children in general. There are also 28,535 special teachers for children with special needs ”. The affidavit has been presented at the hearing of a case that raises the question of the obligation of schools, including the respective state government, to ensure the appointment of duly qualified specialist teachers to provide quality training to children with disabilities in the proportion stipulated in the central legislation, as well as the schemes proposed by the central government from time to time and their conditions of service. He said that the ‘Samagra Shiksha’ scheme meets consonence with the right of children to free and compulsory education act 2009.