Career in special education: High demand, fewer takers
Kohima, March 15 (EMN): An inclusive, empowered and a barrier-free society for every individual is necessary, and proper education should be accessible to all.
Ravi Prakash Singh, a lecturer in special education at the National Institute for Empowerment of Persons with Intellectual Disabilities (Divyangjan) of the ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, spoke to Eastern Mirror about “career in special education” during his recent visit to Nagaland for a regional meeting of parents’ of persons with disability.
“There is huge need of professionals in the field of special education within the country and outside the country,” Singh said. He said one could become a special educator in special schools, inclusive schools, early intervention centre, vocational rehabilitation centre, in hospitals and clinics, adding, “It is a huge venture.”
The official meanwhile informed that states like Haryana, Delhi and others have ‘huge demand’ for special educators, stating, “The demand is growing but in Northeast the number of professionals are very less and especially in the state of Nagaland.”
According to Singh, the limited number of professionals in the field is one of the reasons why a person with special needs is not taken care of due to lack of quality services.
“It is very important that the people of the state and particularly students passing out their class 12 examinations and in final year of graduation take up special education course to serve the people,” he said.
He observed that among the few schools that exist for special education in the state, properly trained teachers are either not there or limited, while adding that as per Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI) Act, a teacher needs to be professionally qualified from an RCI recognised institution to teach students with special needs.
For those interested in taking up the course, Singh advised, have to go for the institutions that are affiliated to Rehabilitation Council of India, a statutory body that recognises the institutions across the country and gives registration to the professionals with its office in Delhi. He added that the list of institution is available in its website: www.rehabcouncil.nic.in for clarification and verification.
He maintained that the central government is giving special attention to Northeast India yet the region still lacks facilities for access of learning especially for people with special needs. He said that many universities are coming up with programmes for special education and the neighbouring states of Tripura and Arunachal Pradesh (Himalayan University) have institutions that offer PG courses.
“Still there is very less number of admission despite the field having scope,” he said, adding “People are not much aware of the potential in this profession with high demand.”
He went on to narrate the standing order of the Delhi High Court to keep two special educators in every school and the norms of Central Board of School Education.
His advice for anyone interested in this profession: “Commitment and personal interest are very much important as it is a service sector where you’re also empowering another person and therefore a person has to be in the field with heart and soul. It is not only money and career but a person need to be fully committed for everything.”
Some of the courses in special education as informed by Singh: Diploma in special education (intellectual disability), Diploma in Early Childhood (special education), Diploma in Rehabilitation, B. Ed (special education), M.Ed (special education), M.Phil (Rehabilitation Psychology) etc.
Criteria to take up various courses: Candidate should have a minimum qualification of 10+2 with 50 per cent aggregate for diploma courses and for degree (Bachelor’s and Master’s); candidate should clear all India entrance examination to get admission in the institutions and affiliated universities with 50 per cent aggregate mark.
Interested candidates can visit www.niepid.nic.in for more information and assistance.