Ministry of Human Resource Development’s Inclusive Education for Disabled at Secondary Stage (IEDSS) has worked wonders in Annai Eva Marie Koch Girls’ Higher Secondary School in Thuraimangalam in neighbouring Perambalur district, even though the special teachers appointed under the scheme have been working without salary for three years now.

All the four top rankers among the 150 plus two students in the school are beneficiaries of IEDSS, thanks to the commitment of the teachers.

The notable performers were first rank holder M. Kalaimani whose score of 1148 includes centum in History and commerce, and Anu Priya who secured only one mark lesser than her competitor with a centum in accountancy.

The third rank total was 1,076 scored by a student with loco motor disability and the fourth high total was 1,054. Among the normal students, an overall score of 1,020 was the highest performance.

Rather than affecting their morale, the four special teachers Helen Jayarani, Jayamari, Hema Arokiamary, and Besita Mary worked with steely resolve to prove their worth.

“We are happy that our efforts have created the desired impact on the students,” said Ms. Helen Jayarani, who was appointed along with three others to cater to the educational needs of 30 students of the school.

It was in 2009-10 the IEDSS replaced the earlier scheme of Integrated Education for Disabled Children (IEDC) for assisting inclusive education of the disabled children in classes IX-XII.

Under the scheme being implemented by the State government, the MHRD provides assistance under two major components.

Student-oriented components

The student-oriented components constitute medical and educational assessment, books and stationery, uniform, transport allowance, reader allowance, stipend for girls, boarding and lodging facility, therapeutic services, and teaching-learning materials.

The second major component provides for appointment of special education teachers.

Financial support from the Centre

Entire financial support for the scheme is provided by the Central government. The State government meets the expenditure towards scholarship of Rs. 600 per disabled child per annum.

While the students have been receiving the money from the State government, the St. John Sangam Trust that runs the school was yet to receive the funds from MHRD’s Department of School Education and Literacy routed through the State government, it is learnt.