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"There is a need to develop a special national plan for the skill development of People with Disabilities (PwDs). This is required in order to give them greater opportunity, but care will have to be exercised that it is not done at the cost of normal education," Union Minister for Human Resource Development (HRD) Kapil Sibal stated. Sibal was speaking while chairing the first meeting of the Round Table Conference on Educational Development of Women, Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST) and PwDs.
The HRD minister underlined the need for the setting up of residential schools and colleges for the disadvantaged in order to address the issues of lack of access and quality. He desired that the Secretaries of Higher Education, School Education and Literacy set up a task force to prepare a Public Private Partnership (PPP) model for this which could be sustainable.
Sibal said that in order to address the issue of quality teaching in schools the Ministry will seek, in the next plan, to expand the scope of the National Mission on ICT to school education also from its current higher education mandate.
He also suggested that the ministry can work on preparing a programme of a national fellowship for vocational and higher education.
Among those who attended the Round Table included Prof. Kancha Ilaiah (former HoD of Political Science at Osmania University), Sonali Khan (Country Director at Breakthrough India), Dr. Mary E. John (Director at the Centre for Women's Development Studies), Dr. Mithu Alur (Founder Chairperson, ADAPT), Dr. Achyuta Samanta (Founder, Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences), Anshu Vaish (Secretary, School Education and Literacy) and Vibha Puri Das (Secretary, Higher Education).
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