Bombay HC asks NCERT to verify credentials of experts before enlisting help for special education

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The Bombay high court (HC) has asked the ministry of education and the National Council for Education, Research and Training (NCERT) to verify the credentials of the experts listed by the petitioner for finding a way to provide education for specially-abled children in over 900 special schools across the state.

A division bench of chief justice Dipankar Datta and justice GS Kulkarni, while hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by the National Association of Blind (NAB), was informed by advocate Dr Uday Warunkjikar that as per court directions, he had prepared a list of experts who could provide a solution to the problem of education for specially-abled students.

In an earlier hearing, Dr Warunjikar had informed the court that while education for normal students had commenced through virtual classrooms, the same was not viable for specially-abled students, and urged that the state and Centre come out with a solution to ensure that specially-abled students were not denied their right to education.

While responding to the contentions of NAB, advocate Rui Rodrigues for NCERT had informed the court that it had started radio lessons for visually-impaired students but a programme for the deaf and dumb would be introduced only after six to eight months as work on it was still going on.

As NAB had opposed the same, the court had suggested that NAB form a panel of experts who could come up with an expeditious solution.

On Wednesday, Rodrigues submitted that NCERT was striving to make a fool-proof programme but if the court so directed, it was willing to enlist the help of the experts. Thereafter, the court directed Rodrigues to verify the credentials of the experts as one of them had already undertaken some programme on behalf of the ministry of education in the past, and to submit a report on the same by Monday.

The court also directed that NCERT address the points raised by the experts in their covering letter and submit a response to it as well. The PIL has been posted for hearing on October 27.

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