The coronavirus pandemic halted not only the education of most of the students across the valley of Kashmir due to throttled internet speed and closure of educational institutions, but the students with disabilities remain most affected. We met many such students who shared their ordeal.
According to a survey conducted by the education department of the local government, more than 45,000 children in Kashmir are with disabilities. In this session, more than 2000 students are going to appear in board exams. Javaid Ahmad Tak, an activist from Kashmir working for the rights of people with disabilities pointed out towards the lack of proper infrastructure for these students.
the biggest problem is that in the education sector, teaching learning material is hardly available, there is dearth of sign language interpreters for deaf and dumb students, these students suffer most during this pandemic
Even tele-classes are not serving the purpose as there are no interpreters for the students. A report published in Kashmir Monitor suggests that according to a survey conducted by Swabhiman, a community-based organisation working for the rights of persons with disabilities in many states including Jammu and Kashmir revealed that about 43% of children with disabilities are planning to drop out of studies due to difficulties faced by them in online education. A total of 3,627 people, including students, parents, and teachers participated in the survey. According to the survey, 56.5 percent of children with disabilities were struggling yet attending classes irregularly, while 77 percent of students said they would not be able to cope and would fall behind in learning due to their inability to access distance learning. the existing laws like the rights with disabilities act are not being followed and implemented and are being openly violated.