Only 28,535 teachers for special schools: SC directs states to recruit more – Times of India

NEW DELHI: In a landmark judgment to protect the rights of children with special needs or disabilities (CwSN), the Supreme Court on Thursday directed the Center to immediately inform the rules and norms of student-teacher ratio for special schools and separate rules. For special teachers who can teach and train CwSN in general school alone. The apex court stressed that only 28,535 special teachers were available for children with special needs / CwSN and directed the state governments to start the recruitment process.

A bench headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar and comprising Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and City Ravi Kumar noted that there is a shortage of rehabilitation professionals or specialized teachers who are recognized and registered by the concerned councils who can impart education and training to persons with disabilities / CwSN alone.


The bench noted that according to data available with the Unified District Information for Education, there are 22.5 lakh CwSNs in the country. “Also, in addition to teaching general children, only 4.33 lakh general teachers have been trained to teach CwSN and only 28,535 special teachers are available for special needs / CwSN children,” the bench noted in its 100-page judgment.


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Passing multiple directives in this regard, the bench directed the states to “start the recruitment process to fill the vacancies created for the posts created for rehabilitation professionals / special teachers for recruitment on regular basis”. It added, “It must be completed within six months from the date of this order or before the start of the 2022, 2023 academic year, whichever is earlier.”

The apex court directed the Center to immediately inform the rules and standards of student-teacher ratio for special schools and separate rules for special teachers who can teach and train CwSN in general schools alone.


It added that until a comprehensive action plan is formulated, as a “stop-gap measure”, the recommendations of the State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, National Capital Territory of Delhi will be adopted in 2019.

The apex court has accepted the petitioners’ dispute for accepting the 2019 recommendations as a stop gap measure, where a student-teacher ratio of 8: 1 has been proposed for children with cerebral palsy; 5: 1 for children with intellectual disabilities, ASD and certain learning disabilities; And 2: 1 for the deaf blind and a combination of two or more of the seven disabled.

“Other teachers and staff in the general school will be given mandatory training and will be sensitized to operate CwSN once admitted,” the bench said. It instructed the authorities to explore the possibility of merging the unusable special schools with the relatively effective special schools in the vicinity.


The bench said that the state commissioners appointed under Section 79 of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 should immediately initiate self-motivation regarding consent and then make recommendations to the appropriate authorities. The bench said the state commissioners could submit a report on the consent by February 2022.

In a petition filed by Rajneesh Kumar Pandey and others, the apex court ruled that teachers have B.Ed (special) and DEAD (special) degree or diploma courses and are fully trained to meet the requirements of CWSN.

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