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Progress towards inclusive education

Lamp lighting ceremony to open the Include Vidya Campaign event at Kolkata
© CBM India
Lamp lighting ceremony to open the Include Vidya Campaign event at Kolkata.

Include Vidya Campaign celebrates progress on inclusion in West Bengal schools with a survey report launched in Kolkata on the opportunities and challenges we face towards making the schools and teaching processes inclusive. The event on October 7, 2015 also marked the first year of the campaign in the state.

Government schools are making progress towards inclusive education to enable children with disabilities access their right to education, according to a CBM India survey in West Bengal.

The survey is based on a self-assessment by teachers and school staff across West Bengal to mark one year of Include Vidya Campaign by CBM India and its partners. 

Through the campaign, CBM India aims to garner stronger commitment from the policy makers towards inclusive education by creating evidence on the current gaps in inclusive education. The five-year campaign will increase enrolment and retention of children with disabilities, support communities and parents to take ownership and ensure that children with disabilities are in mainstream schools, learning with their non-disabled peers.

Slow but steady progress

The survey found improvements on aspects like accessibility of built environment but also revealed challenges of a relatively slow progress on training of mainstream teachers to work with children with special needs.

More schools are now, compared to 2013-14, providing communication aids for accessibility, such as the use of sign language and Braille materials. Over 70 schools now have equipment and special teachers to support children with special needs.

The survey also revealed that 80 of the 727 schools have at least one trained teacher for educating children with special needs and majority of them are yet to be trained. 

Participation of children with diverse social backgrounds and disabilities in children’s clubs, children’s cabinets and children’s committees is a focus of the campaign. There has been progress in the formation of these bodies and their participation in the functioning of schools. 

Working together

The campaign has been receiving support from the school education department of West Bengal for its activities in different districts.  The office of the Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, West Bengal, has been providing critical insights and support throughout. 

“In order to make the right to education for children with disabilities a reality we need an understanding of the gaps between policy and practice of inclusive education and solutions for these gaps. We hope it will lead to improving the educational status of children with disabilities in West Bengal,” said Dr. Sara Varughese, National Director, CBM India, commenting on the survey. 

The assessment survey involved the state education department and was conducted in collaboration with North Bengal Council for the Disabled, Siliguri, and Mobility India, Kolkata.

The assessment survey report was released on October 7th 2015 in Kolkata at the Rabindra Sadan Auditorium. Prof. Bharati Ray, Former Pro Vice Chancellor of Calcutta University, Former Member of Parliament, graced the occasion as Chief Guest and actress Tanuja Mukherjee was the Guest of Honour.

The survey also has made several recommendations based on the assessment and the learning from the campaign activities carried out over the past one year.
Thumbnail for video "Winning combination of cricket and inclusion" Thumbnail for video "Winning combination of cricket and inclusion"

Winning combination of cricket and inclusion

Message by India’s T20 Blind Cricket Team on celebrating CBM India’s winning combination of cricket and inclusion.

Thumbnail for video "Why Vidya must go to school" Thumbnail for video "Why Vidya must go to school"

Why Vidya must go to school

We all feel very strongly about the need of education for enabling children to find opportunities and addressing development challenges of the country


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