New Delhi: NCPEDP organised a National Consultation with the National Disability Network (NDN) around the development of the National Curriculum Framework in the area of School Education, Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE), Teacher Education and Adult Education. The Consultation saw the participation of Persons with Disabilities (PwDs), such organisations of Persons with Disabilities, sector experts and the NCERT as well.
NCERT in its notification dated December 28, 2021, notified about the Constitution of the National Focus Groups for developing Position Papers on various themes to provide inputs for the National Curriculum Frameworks in the area of School Education, ECCE, Teacher Education and Adult Education. 25 themes in consonance with the recommendations of the National Education Policy (NEP), 2020 have been identified to develop position papers both at the National and State level.
However, based on information available in the public domain it was observed that adequate representation of PwDs in the National Focus Groups formed was missing. Since the National Curriculum Framework is an exercise which is going to influence the quality of education for generations to come, the National Consultation was organised to discuss the pressing issue.
Dr Sruti Mohapatra, Member – National Focus Group, Inclusive Education, chaired the Consultation and apprised the participants on the importance of inclusion of persons with disabilities across all the 25 Focus Groups and not limited to Inclusive Education group only.
Arman Ali, Executive Director, NCPEDP noted that, “For the first time, children/persons with disabilities find mention in the NEP 2020 right from ECCE up to higher education after continuous perseverance from the entire disability sector. The NCF provides the disability sector with another opportunity to come together and emphasise that disability is cross-cutting issue across all themes and not limited to inclusive education.”
Some other important observations that emerged from the discussion included conducting a focus study on all the existing Government schemes promoting inclusive education as well as re-examining budgetary allocations for the same and addressing the diverse needs of disability groups and the importance of flexible curriculum for inclusive pedagogy. Other significant themes which were discussed included universal design learning methods to be incorporated for inclusive education and accessibility should not be limited to infrastructure only but must be included in curriculum and the digital education spectrum as well. It was also observed by experts that concerns of children with intellectual disabilities should be included in mainstream instead of being marginalised.
Dr. Mohapatra and Arman Ali as a way forward remarked that a parallel position paper from the NDN will be presented to the National Focus Group on Inclusive Education, National Curriculum Framework.
About National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP)
Registered in 1996, the National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP) is the country’s premier cross-disability, not-for-profit organisation working as an interface between Government, Industry, International Agencies and the Voluntary Sector towards empowerment of persons with disabilities. Its mandate is simple – to encourage the employment of people with disabilities, increase public awareness on the issue of disability, empower people with disabilities with knowledge, information and opportunities and ensure easy and convenient access to all public places. NCPEDP works on six core principles, also called the six pillars of the organisation, namely: 1) Education; 2) Employment; 3) Accessibility; 4) Legislation/Policy; 5) Awareness/Communication, and 6) Youth.