What was the issue before the Court?
Writ Petition (Civil) No. 4618/2011 before the Delhi High Court
Social Jurist is a civil society organization that filed a Public Interest Litigation to highlight the deficiency of requisite teaching aids for children with disability and non-availability of special teachers, in unaided and aided private schools of Delhi, and its consequences upon students. The petitioner sought directions from the Court to ensure all recognized aided and unaided private schools in Delhi made provisions for the education of children with disabilities.
What did the Court rule?
The Court mandated the following for all the recognized aided and unaided private schools in Delhi:
(i) All schools are to appoint special educators and to make the school premises barrier free so as to provide free movement/access to children with disabilities
(ii) The Department of Education, Govt. NCT of Delhi, is to ensure compliance of these directions and to take action for de-recognition against the erring schools who do not, by 31st March, 2013, make their school premises barrier free/access free
The Court granted further grant time of two years to these schools to appoint special educators or to train their current surplus teaching staff in special education. However, for schools that had already admitted children with disabilities who required special educators, the mandate is that these schools shall immediately make provision for special educators
(iii) No school shall refuse admission to children with disability for lack of employing special educators or for lack of barrier-free access in school premises
What have been the developments since then?
There has been no follow up rulings to this by the Delhi High Court, nor has the Department of Education released any public notification de-recognizing schools which have not appointed special educators or made their premises barrier free.