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Secondary Education for Children with Disabilities

Indian children in classroom with disabilitiesSecondary Education for Children with Disabilities

Project summary

The objective of this research project is to provide an analysis of current educational provision at secondary level for Children With Special Needs (CWSN) in India, advise on relevant national and international experience in secondary education (Classes IX and X; ages 15 and 16) and highlight costed policy options for the future provision of secondary education to CWSN.

The Ministry of Human Resource Development, India, wishes to identify cost effective ways to include CWSN, including the most severely challenged, in mainstream schools; and explore how the innovative use of ICTs can help respond to the challenges faced by CWSN.
Through an analysis of data concerning provision of education for CWSN in India, the study will:

  • Look at the numbers of children identified as having Special Needs in India as a percentage of the school aged population and how this compares with international norms; the particular challenges to meeting the needs of CWSN in India; comment on current budgetary provision and unit cost of existing CWSN initiatives under Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA); offer costed policy options with the potential to increase access / learning for CWSN drawn from national and international experience.
  • Examine educational provision at secondary level for CWSN in a small number of States, identifying any examples of good practice in India - including the use of ICTs.
  • Review the strategies and approaches that a small number of other emerging economies are following to address the needs of CWSN.

The following outputs will result from this study:

  • Summary of the current level of provision at secondary level (number of institutions, students, teachers, funding, etc.), including examples of how innovative use of ICTs is supporting the education of CWSN
  • Overview of the institutional set up for CWSN: how schools are providing access to CWSN, how they are meeting the learning needs of CWSN, where responsibility lies at national and sub-national levels within the system (policy, funding, lead ministry, coordination across ministries, etc.), identification of students with special needs and relationships between general and special schools
  • Review the cost effectiveness of current provision and propose an alternative model of provision
  • Summary of examples of good practice from other emerging economies and highlight and useful lessons that India might consider adopting / adapting
  • Highlighting of key questions which the Indian system may need to consider as it seeks to expand provision for CWSN at the secondary level.

Research team:
Principal Investigator: Dr Nidhi Singal

Country partners:
Anuradha De, CORD

Cambridge Education, UK

May 2015 to 31 October 2015


News articles and blogs:
De, A. and Singal, N. (2016). Loosening the purse strings: financing the education of children with disabilities in India. The Education Commission.