Educational provisions for children with disabilities under RPwD Act 2016

Kohima, September 16 (MExN): State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities Diethono Nakhro on Wednesday highlighted Sections 16 and 31 in the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (RPwD) Act 2016 pertaining to the education of children with disabilities.

The State School Education Department was earlier notified of the provisions in the Act by the Government of Nagaland, issued by the Chief Secretary on March 30, 2020.

According to Section 16 of the Act, the state government and local authorities are to ensure that all educational institutions funded or recognised by them provide inclusive education to the children with disabilities.

Towards this end, the educational institutions are required to admit them without discrimination and provide education and opportunities for sports and recreation activities equally with others.

Building, campus and various facilities should also be made accessible for the children.

It also requires the institutions to provide reasonable accommodation according to the individual’s requirements, besides providing individualised support or otherwise in environments that maximise academic and social development consistent with the goal of full inclusion.

The institutions are also to ensure that the education to persons who are blind or deaf or both is imparted in the most appropriate languages and modes and means of communication.

The section also states that the institutes should detect specific learning disabilities in children at the earliest and take suitable pedagogical and other measures to overcome them.

They are to monitor participation, progress in terms of attainment levels and completion of education in respect of every student with disability.

Provision of transportation facilities to the children with disabilities and also the attendant of the children with disabilities having high support needs are also included in this section.

Meanwhile, Section 31 of the Act states that “Notwithstanding anything contained in the Rights of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, every child with benchmark disability between the age of six to eighteen years shall have the right to free education in a neighbourhood school, or in a special school, of his choice.”

It also requires the appropriate government and local authorities to ensure that every child with benchmark disability has access to free education in an appropriate environment till he attains the age of eighteen years.