The Right of Children to Free & Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009 has come into force w.e.f. 1st April, 2010. The RTE Act provides for free & compulsory education to children in the age group of 6-14 years at elementary level in a neighborhood school. Government of India has since aligned the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) norms with the provisions of Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 and has committed a funding of Rs. 2,31,233 crore for implementation of the combined RTE-SSA program during the next five years in partnership with the States.
SSA ensures that every child with special needs, irrespective of the kind, category and degree of disability, is provided meaningful and quality education. Hence, SSA has adopted a zero rejection policy. This means that no child having special needs should be deprived of the right to education and taught in an environment, which is best, suited to his/her learning needs.
SSA provides up to Rs. 3000 per child for the inclusion of disabled children, as per specific proposal, per year. District plan for children with special needs is formulated within the Rs. 3000 per child norm, with Rs. 1000 earmarked exclusively for engagement of resource teachers. The interventions under SSA for inclusive education are identification, functional and formal assessment, appropriate educational placement, preparation of Individualized Educational Plan, provision of aids and appliances, teacher training, resource support, removal of architectural barriers, research, monitoring and evaluation and a special focus on girls with special needs.
A centrally sponsored scheme of "Inclusive Education for Disabled at Secondary Stage" (IEDSS) has been implemented since 1-4-2009 in place of CSS of Integrated Education for Disabled Children (IEDC). The objective of the IEDSS scheme is to enable the disabled children who have completed eight years of elementary education to continue their education at the secondary stage (class IX to XII) in an inclusive environment in regular schools.
This information was given by Shri. D. Napoleon, the Minister of State for Social Justice & Empowerment, in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha today.