The Union education ministry revealed that there are 72,186 students in India for the academic year 2023-24, who receive their education at home instead of attending traditional schools. Among them, Tamil Nadu has the highest number with 11,400 home-based learners, followed closely by Uttar Pradesh with 10,935 students. This figure includes children with special needs as well as those whose parents have chosen to educate them at home.
The National Education Policy (NEP) places great focus on full equity and inclusion to ensure that all students have the opportunity to thrive in the education system. The policy allows for home-based education as an option for children with severe and multiple disabilities who are unable to attend regular schools. The Samagra Shiksha scheme, which is centrally sponsored, aligns with the NEP 2020 to provide quality education for all children, including those with special needs.
Under the Samagra Shiksha scheme, there is an excelled component for inclusive education for children with special needs. This section offers various provisions, such as aids, appliances, assistive devices, and teaching-learning materials to meet the educational needs of these children. This includes providing home-based education for children with severe and multiple disabilities who cannot attend school physically.
For the academic session 2023-24, the education program has been approved to support 72,186 children with special needs, with an estimated budget of Rs 2,067.93 lakh.
The importance of parenting and group participation in children’s education is mentioned, especially in the current age of disruption in various spheres of life. Parents and caregivers play a crucial role in providing appropriate learning experiences and creating a safe and conducive environment for their children’s education.
In light of the present challenges, the government has initiated a comprehensive initiative called PM eVIDYA as part of the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan. PM eVIDYA aims to unify all efforts related to digital, online, and on-air education, enabling multi-mode access to education for all students.
The provision of home-based education for children with special abilities is an essential aspect of the National Education Policy’s focus on equity and inclusion. The Samagra Shiksha scheme supports this initiative, ensuring that children with severe and multiple disabilities receive quality education even when they cannot physically attend traditional schools. Parental and community involvement is crucial in fostering a conducive learning environment for children to thrive in their educational journey. The government’s initiative, PM eVIDYA, further aims to enhance access to education through digital and multi-mode platforms in the current dynamic educational landscape.