27% of children with disabilities have never been to school: UNESCO

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  1. According to a report by UNESCO and the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), only 61% children with disabilities between ages 5 and 19 attend any educational institution. The report is based on 2011 Census data.
  2. Report states that 12% of disabled children had dropped out. 27% of the disabled children had never attended any educational institution at all.
  3. The report has also noted that there are fewer girls with disabilities in school than boys.
  4. Further, there are variations among various types of disabilities. Only 20% of children with visual and hearing impairments had never been in school. However, 50% of children with multiple disabilities or mental illness never attended school
  5. Right of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 mandates that every child with benchmark disability between the age group of 6 and 18 years shall have the right to free education.
  6. It further states that Government funded educational institutions as well as the government recognized institutions will have to provide inclusive education to the children with disabilities.
  7. The report notes that there is incoherence between RTE Act, 2009 and Disability Act 2016. The Right to Education Act mandates enrolment, but not the provision of resources needed for the actual education of a child with disabilities.
  8. Thus, the report has recommended that there should be amendments to the RTE Act, 2009 to make it align with the Right of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016.