INDIA’S NATIONAL EDUCATION POLICY 2020: TECHNOLOGY AS GAME CHANGER FOR TEACHING-LEARNING OF CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES
Dr. S. Sivakumar
Assistant Professor in Computer Science, Thanthai Hans Roever College (Autonomous), Perambalur – 621220, Tamil Nadu, India,
Dr. Vasanthakumari Sundarrajan
Associate Professor, Pediatric and Neonatal Nursing Department, Institute of Health Sciences, Wollega University, Ethiopia
Associate Professor, Kalinga Institute of Nursing Sciences, KIIT Deemed to be University, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India.
India’s National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 represents a groundbreaking vision for 21st-century education, acknowledging the pivotal role of technology in reshaping the learning process for all, including children with disabilities (CWDs). Emphasizing the imperative of inclusive education, the NEP 2020 advocates for the elimination of barriers obstructing CWDs’ access to and engagement in education, with technology emerging as a crucial catalyst for inclusivity. Technology offers diverse avenues for supporting the education of CWDs, such as assistive technologies (ATs), including screen readers, text-to-speech and speech-to-text software, and augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices, facilitating communication, information access, and learning participation. Additionally, technology can craft immersive, interactive learning experiences through educational games, simulations, and personalized learning resources. The NEP 2020 underscores the infusion of technology into all educational facets, encompassing e-learning content development, teacher training, and infrastructure provision. This policy signifies a significant stride towards inclusive education, ensuring quality education for all, including CWDs, through the transformative potential of technology. Specific applications encompass screen readers for the visually impaired, text-to-speech software for dyslexic students, speech-to-text software for those with mobility impairments, AAC devices for communication impairments, educational games, and individualized learning materials delivered via online platforms and educational apps. The NEP 2020 offers a blueprint for the comprehensive integration of technology, fostering a more inclusive and accessible educational ecosystem. Leveraging technology’s capabilities, we can forge a more equitable future for all learners.
Keywords: Alternative communication, NEP 2020, CWD, Children with disabilities, Special education