“The State should further ensure that the childhood and youth is protected from exploitation against moral and material abandonment. Article 45 mandates the State to provide early childhood care and education for all children until they complete the age of six”. – High Court of Patna
By: Anish Khondo, 5th Year Law Student at Christ University, Bangalore.
High court of Patna respond to a petition demanding State’s respond on welfare and inclusive education for visually-impaired children.
A report was submitted by an amicus curiae stating that “there are only eight specified Institutions where education can be imparted to visually impaired and children having other disabilities”.
The learned amicus curiae after seeing the first and second survey of the children within the age group of 5 to 19 years, makes a remark that “for as per the provisions of Section 17 of the Disability Act, which casts a duty on the Government and the local authorities at least one such survey ought to have been conducted since the notification of the R.T.E. Act”.
Then the high court made questions to the Commissioner and the Bihar Chief Secretary – “whether it fully caters to the need of all the eligible children of Bihar. If not? then what is the mechanism adopted by the State for imparting education to the children with disabilities (visually impaired), within the State of Bihar needs to be ascertained”. “Another aspect which also needs to be examined is whether the State has made endeavor of complying with the provisions of Section 17 of the Act”. Which read as follows:
(a) to conduct survey of school going children in every five years for identifying children with disabilities, ascertaining their special needs and the extent to which these are being met
(b) to establish adequate number of teacher training institutions
(c) to train and employ teachers, including teachers with disability who are qualified in sign language and Braille and also teachers who are trained in teaching children with intellectual disability
(d) to train professionals and staff to support inclusive education at all levels of school education;
(e) to establish adequate number of resource centers to support educational institutions at all levels of school education. [read order for more]The court then asked the Chief Secretary and the State Commissioner for Disabilities, to “file their personal affidavit within two weeks”.