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A Wrong To Education?


“There is no hope in the future for children with disabilities.�

( Mother of Rajiv Rajan on hearing about the home-based education clause in the RTE Amendment.

)


RAJIV RAJAN : National Role Model (etc) Rajiv (arguably India's most famous success story of integration) was at home till he was 14. After joining Vidya Sagar there was no looking back – from mainstream school cricket team to Loyola College loafer to reknowned human rights activist today. With his 80% + disability, Rajiv has been there, done that – no one is better qualified to speak about the need for inclusive education.


PAVITHRA SWAMINATHAN: Mass Comm student, The Hindu intern

“ If the opportunity of inclusion is denied that means the door that is open to the mainstream is also denied. We fight for the rights of the disabled, on the other hand if we pass this law it is a sin to the disabled community.�


BHAVNA BOTTA : PETA activist + B. Com = Ahimsa Silk Boutique

“ School is where childhood friendships and bonds are made. I went to the mainstream only after the 10th standard. It gave me confidence and lots of friends but not the bonds that will be there in a school.�


P.S. DHEEPAKH : Cricket-Mad + ACJ journo = Sports Desk @ The Hindu

“ Inclusion is an opportunity, not a concession. What we have been given or forced to accept is a concession. What we believe and seek is an opportunity... ... LIKE ANYONE ELSE ”


HOW is the RTE Amendment incomplete ? ✗

Rigid definition of disability excludes – no dyslexia, no medical disabilities etc

Special schools still bereft of standards / monitoring mechanisms. Home-based education is not even defined! Alternative and innovative education options should not be restricted to children with disabilities alone. Both the child prodigy and the child with learning disability have special needs.

No continuum of education services : homebased education is an escape chute for Govt to renege its responsibilities - of inclusive education, access to diverse education options, AND choice... for ALL.

The assumption that people with severe disabilities may need to be homebound is presumptuous - an imposed legal disability masquerading as pseudo-choice.


European Court of Human Rights Judgement (2006) The right to education calls for regulation by the State. Parents may not refuse compulsory schooling on the basis of their convictions. Children are unable to foresee the consequences of their parents' decision for home education because of their young age. Schools represent society, and it is in the children's interest to become part of that society. The parents' right to educate does not go as far as to deprive their children of that experience. Compulsory school attendance enables children from all backgrounds in society to gather together...it is in the general interest of society to integrate minorities into society.


A Wrong to Education