The government of Guwahati has decided to waive of the fees for school and college students who are specially abled. Under this scheme the government will provide education to the students from class 9 to the university level. The scheme will cover government run institutes for higher education which will include professional colleges of engineering, medical and polytechnic.
The Right to Education Act in India ensures free education to all the children till 14 years of age, which means upto class 8. This new announcement from the Guwahati government will mean that the specially-abled children will not have to pay for their studies throughout their life. The Education Minister of Guwahati, Himanta Biswa Sarma said, “Now onwards, irrespective of the marks scored by a student or his family’s financial background, admission fee of all specially-abled students from Class XI to the university level, including students in all engineering, medical and polytechnic institutes run by the government will be waived off.”
All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has already been providing facilities like free counseling on choices of courses, helpful devices for higher studies and other important material for these especially abled children. They also bring companies to hire these children once they complete their courses and try to make them part of the mainstream society. To create awareness about disability and capabilities of specially abled children AICTE conducts programmes on World Disabled Day, White Cane Day etc. They direct the institutes under their administration to be sensitive with disable students and provide special aid and appliances to them. It provides machines such as readers, computers with screen reading software, low-vision aids, scanners, mobility devices etc. in its institutes.
Apart from providing free education to specially abled children, the Guwahati government led by BJP is also providing free higher secondary education to students whose parents’ annual incomes is less than Rs. 1 lakh. The Education Minister Sarma said that they are fulfilling their commitments of providing quality education in the state, despite the fact that the state is fighting hard with funds in education sector. New teachers have been appointed to schools, so that quality education could be spread in government run schools. He said that the state will regularize the 7000 odd teachers working in primary schools under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) mission. The government is planning to introduce 30 percent of the posts as per government rules and fill up vacancies with qualified and skilled teachers for the better future of the students.