For Over 70,000 Students, Classrooms Are Their Homes; Tamil Nadu Leads List: Centre
The Union Ministry of Education has recently reported that for the academic year 2023-24, there is a noteworthy count of 72,186 students who are receiving their education within the confines of their homes, rather than attending conventional schools across the nation. In this group, a significant portion comes from Tamil Nadu, amounting to 11,400 students, who have opted for home-based learning. Following closely is Uttar Pradesh, contributing 10,935 students to this category.
It's important to note that this figure encompasses a diverse range of students, including those with special needs as well as those whose parents have chosen an alternative approach to formal schooling. The National Education Policy (NEP) is a guiding framework that underscores the principles of inclusivity and equal access, ensuring that every student can flourish within the education system.
A senior official from the ministry emphasized that the NEP supports the provision of home-based education, particularly for children with significant disabilities that prevent them from attending regular schools. This aligns with the broader Samagra Shiksha scheme, which is designed to ensure quality education for all children, regardless of their unique requirements.
The Samagra Shiksha scheme includes a dedicated component aimed at fostering inclusive education for children with special needs. This initiative encompasses various measures, such as providing essential tools like aids, appliances, and assistive devices, along with teaching and learning materials. Notably, this also extends to home-based education for children who face severe or multiple disabilities that hinder their physical presence in a traditional school setting.
For the upcoming academic year, a substantial support system has been established for 72,186 children with special needs who are participating in the home-based education program. The allocated budget for this endeavor is approximately Rs 2,067.93 lakh.
Recognizing the significance of parental involvement, the official underscored the role of parents and caregivers in helping children navigate the challenges of education, especially in an era marked by disruptions. The official further emphasized that initiatives like PM eVIDYA have been launched as part of the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan, aiming to provide diverse avenues for digital, online, and broadcast-based education. This comprehensive approach seeks to facilitate multi-mode access to education, acknowledging the evolving educational landscape.