Empowering Every Child: Samagra Shiksha’s Inclusive Education Initiative for Differently Abled Students

In a recent written statement in the Lok Sabha, Minister of State for Education, Smt. Annpurna Devi, highlighted the significant strides taken by the centrally sponsored Samagra Shiksha scheme in ensuring inclusive education for children with special needs. The comprehensive scheme, administered by the Department of School Education & Literacy, Ministry of Education, spans the educational journey from pre-primary to senior secondary levels.

Under the dedicated component for Inclusive Education for Children with Special Needs (CwSN), Samagra Shiksha is making remarkable provisions to address the unique educational requirements of differently-abled children. These include the provision of aids, appliances, assistive devices, and teaching-learning materials (TLMs). Additionally, the scheme extends support for transportation, escort services, and scribe allowances, ensuring that every child has equal access to education.

Recognizing the importance of early identification and assessment, the initiative includes annual block identification and assessment camps. Moreover, to facilitate access to education and encourage completion of schooling, stipends are provided for differently-abled girls.

One of the key features of Samagra Shiksha is its commitment to barrier-free access within schools. The scheme has implemented the construction of ramps with handrails and differently-abled-friendly toilets in schools across the nation. According to UDISE+ 2021-22 data, an impressive 5,89,986 schools now boast ramps with handrails, with 2,14,430 schools equipped with differently-abled-friendly toilets for boys and 1,80,786 for girls.

A substantial budget allocation is made to states and union territories under Samagra Shiksha, based on their annual proposals submitted through the Annual Work Plan and Budget. This ensures that resources are efficiently distributed to address the unique needs of each region.

The primary focus of Samagra Shiksha is to create an inclusive educational environment where children, irrespective of their abilities or disabilities, learn and grow together in the same classrooms. This approach not only promotes equal opportunities but also fosters a supportive and enriching atmosphere for all students.

As we celebrate these advancements in inclusive education, Samagra Shiksha continues to be a beacon of hope for countless children, breaking down barriers and creating a future where every child can realize their full potential.

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