14 percent of the school going children suffer from dyslexia in india and therefore the importance of having an inclusive education system is extremely important
Dyslexia is a learning disability where children face obstacles in learning as they are unable to perform basic learning tasks of reading and writing however this in no way reflects their intellect as dyslexics have average or above average IQ. Since a long time the concept of learning disability wasn’t very well known in the minds of Indian educators and therefore the education system never had provisions for such kids. Hence they were not given fair opportunities to learn . Most of the students suffering from Dyslexia were considered idiots for not being able learn through the conventional system of education.
Awareness of learning disabilities is gradually increasing in India where educators have started to realise that students who have obstacles with learning maybe suffering from such hidden disability or rather a learning difference , than branding them as stupid or considering them of lower intellect and lack of capabilities .
When someone helping you gets frustrated, don’t let them. Take a step back, because you can’t learn anything under pressure. And don’t worry about the label [dyslexia]!
This increased awareness can be attributed to a lot of factors such as the movie ‘Taare Zameen Par’ in 2007 which was the first movie in Indian cinema to touch upon learning disabilities.
Also there are lot of efforts made by many organisations such as UNESCO and Dyslexic Advantage by taking workshops . For example in 2016 Dyslexic advantage conducted workshops for 980 government schools in India, not only these but even the government has made efforts in supporting learning disabilities by including learning disabilities in ‘THE RIGHTS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES ACT, 2016’ CHAPTER III EDUCATION. The government also underlines that teachers should help students suffering from learning disabilities and help them overcome the difficulties and also provide much required accommodations / arrangements during exams such as readers and scribes , extra time etc.It also encourages teachers to try and detect these learning disabilities at the earliest . This is essential because the earlier you detect the learning disabilities the easier it is to overcome them with structured Interventions.
A lot of the credit for increased awareness can be given to media houses also. A lot of newspapers in recent times have come up stories related to learning disabilities helping in creating a greater awareness. For instance, news papers such as ‘Times of India’ and ‘The Hindu’ frequently come up with such reports . For example, Times of India in 2016 published a piece with the title, ‘Is your kid a dyslexic? Here’s help’
In order for the education system to be more inclusive it has to provide several provisions for the children suffering from learning disabilities. For example these students should have the right to avail extra time during written examination as they take more time to read than an average child of the same age. The processing for Dyslexics differ from the so called normal processing brain. Not only these but in some cases if required these students should be permitted to use a scribe.These provisions are extremely important as the current education system in the country is focused on written examination and thus in order to get a fair assessment for these students, all these provisions are extremely important.the increased awareness has resulted in in the introduction of government legislation allowing Access arrangement during examination and for instance CBSE (central board of secondary education) has provisions for providing scribe and extra time during examinations. Not only on the secondary school level but several competitive exams such as CLAT (Common Law Admission Test) have provisions for the same.
The inclusiveness with respect to examinations has clearly increased, however it could be argued that the learning is still not very inclusive. Only the examination, for instance it can be argued that in india the main method of teaching is rote learning where students are expected to mug up knowledge; however the dyslexic mind finds it extremely difficult to do this. According to ‘Autism-Open Access’ a dyslexic mind thrives on visual and auditory learning and therefore the teaching for them should have more sensory integration. ( Adubasim ICJ,Autism-Open Access,February 26, 2017) therefore it could be understood that students in India are not subject to a sensory method of teaching. According Autism – open access, it is important for teachers to be be given in-service training which would help assist learners better and I think these is missing in our current education system. Therefore we still need to put efforts in making the system not only inclusive with respect to assessment but also imparting learning. Not only this but it is also essentially important to emotionally support dyslexics as a lot of such students can suffer from low self confidence/ low self esteem due to their inability to perform basic tasks so the teachers should be also skilled to deal with such obstacles.Libero sem vitae
Overall increased awareness has directly resulted in more inclusive form of education in India as now the government as well as private entities realize
the importance to facilitate their needs which could be clearly reflected in, ‘THE RIGHTS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES ACT, 2016’ . And all these will result in students with learning disabilities getting a fair assessment of their abilities. However it is still important for us to understand that there needs to be a greater inclusivity with respect to learning as well as proper assessment. As Albert Einstein once said, “Everybody is a Genius. But If You Judge a Fish by Its Ability to Climb a Tree, It Will Live Its Whole Life Believing that It is Stupid’’