Chandigarh, May 20
Public schools in Chandigarh are not yet fully inclusive for children with special needs (CWSN), as many of them still lack disability-friendly toilets and ramps.
The latest UDISE 2020-21 report, released recently by the Union Department of Education, reveals that 76.86% of public schools in UT have CWSN-enabled toilets, while the remaining 23.14% do not. do not have such facilities.
About 20.81% of public schools in Chandigarh do not have ramps and 38.2% have ramps but no handrails. The central government had made it clear that schools had to be made fully disability-friendly by March 2020.
UT Education Department sources say the engineering wing has been asked to expedite the process of building CWSN-compatible toilets in public schools as well as ramps after schools open. . Some schools will not be able to have the toilet structure modified due to their “heritage status” that construction is not permitted there.
For the 18 different disability categories, ramps are required for students with a locomotor disability (restriction of limb movement) and an orthopedic disability.
In March 2017, the Center had issued instructions to ensure a barrier-free environment in the buildings, which would include the provision of ramps, rails, lifts and adaptation of toilets for wheelchair users, signage in Braille and auditory cues, among others, as expected. in the Persons with Disabilities Act.
Meanwhile, UT Director of School Education Palika Arora could not be reached for comment despite repeated attempts.
Ramps without handrails
About 20.81% of public schools in Chandigarh do not have ramps and 38.2% have ramps but no handrails. The Center had requested that school infrastructure be fully adapted for people with disabilities by March 2020.