‘Denying education to kids with disabilities is injustice’

PANAJI: While the government has proposed to increase reservations in government service for persons with disabilities, minister for social welfare, Pandurang Madkaikar, said that schools will encourage inclusive education only once it is made mandatory for them to not reject admission to any such students.
Madkaikar said he has come across instances where parents and even students object to schools granting admission to children with disabilities. Denying them admission is injustice as it denies them an equal opportunity to study, he said. “It is necessary to make it compulsory for schools to admit children with disabilities and include this in the rules of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016,” he said.
More than 20 years after the Persons with Disabilities Act 1995 was passed, special schools continue to flourish in the state, but inclusive education is yet to take off, president of Disabilities Rights Association of Goa, (DRAG) Avelino D’Sa said.
The social welfare department has framed rules for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 and sent them to the law department for vetting, Madaikar told reporters.
Under the act, the types of disabilities have increased three fold. Consequently, the figure of 33,000-odd persons with disability, as identified in Census 2011, is also expected to rise. The reservation in government establishments for people with disabilities has been hiked from three to four percent of the strength in each group of posts, Madkaikar said.

This article was 1st published on Jun 27, 2017 times of India Newspaper