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Monday, 05 September 2011 12:51

Guidelines for The Field Investigators


This particular study has been assigned to the Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI) by the Department of Secondary and Higher Education, Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD), Government of India. The study will focus its attention on the impact of the Integrated Education for Disabled Children (IEDC) scheme, which was launched in the country by the Government of India in 1974 by the then Ministry of Education and Social Welfare. It was transferred to the Ministry of Education in 1982 when Ministry of Welfare was accorded the status of a separate Ministry. The IEDC scheme was envisaged to evolve a robust mainstreaming mechanism at the community school levels to secure greater acceptability of the disabled children among other members of the society including other children of their age. It was also put into action to inculcate a feeling and realization in the disabled child and his/her parents or guardians that s/he is as good as any other child and is equal to others.

B. The Process of Implementation of IEDC Scheme

In order to implement this scheme, schools are identified from amongst the general schools in a locality where the disabled children are also given admission. For doing this the help of the Government mechanism as well as the NGOs are taken. In some cases, the NGOs establish exclusive integrated schools, which is not the usual practice in India. Generally, the integrated schools are largely general schools where disabled children of the locality/village are placed. Resource teachers (usually having background in special education) are placed to take care of the educational needs of the special children. These resource teachers may be catering to the needs of a number of such schools within an area, say a Block, Tehsil or Taluka in order to economize on the resource front and attending to the needs of maximum number of children with disabilities (CWDs).

In some cases the NGOs are given the responsibility by the State Government to run some of the specially identified government general schools as integrated schools. Here the responsibility of NGO is to place the resource teacher, build the resource room, distribute the earmarked funds to the CWDs and also orient the teachers of those schools where integrated education is to be offered.


In some other cases the State government does not handover the responsibility to any NGO and implements the IEDC scheme on its own by placing resource teachers.

Orientation of all the general teachers of the integrated schools is a prime need for proper implementation of the IEDC scheme. Besides, the parents, non-disabled children, local educational administrators and community leaders are also to be properly oriented for achieving maximum results from the provisions of the scheme.

There also has to be a special linkage between the special schools and the integrated schools. One, some of the special children can be transferred to the integrated set up once they achieve the minimum levels of functional skills. Two, the special schools can also serve as resource centres for the integrated schools in case of any need in the pedagogic process.

C.How can we Assess the Impact?

Assessment of the impact of any programme can be made by evaluating the objectives it seeks to achieve and the people’s lives it seeks to change. The IEDC scheme had three main objectives. One, to give admission to more and more CWDs in the integrated set up so that special provisions (which are costlier) need not be made for these children; two, to adopt suitable and appropriate teaching methods so that these children learn well and do not leave the schools prematurely (better retention); three, to establish a linkage between the special schools in the area and the integrated schools so that the children who attain the minimum functional skills can be transferred to the integrated schools for further education.

There are further sub objectives of the scheme like ensuring better resource support for the CWDs, proper assessment of the CWDs, effecting a community-school relationship to encourage more CWDs to join integrated schools, etc.

D.Objectives of the Research Study

For assessment of the IEDC scheme the following objectives have been developed to be addressed under the study.

1.To study how far the integrated schools have been successful in integrating the eligible children with special needs from the surrounding localities;

  1. To examine the retention strategies adopted by the integrated schools and how far they have been successful or unsuccessful;
  2. To examine the efficacy of linkage between the integrated schools and the special schools;
  3. To study whether facilities for assessment and appropriate placement of the children with disabilities are available in the integrated schools;
  4. To take an overview of the comparative performance of disabled and non-disabled children particularly in the three areas like language, mathematics and environment;
  5. To examine how effective existing support services are and how they can be strengthened;
  6. To examine how qualified the resource teachers are and how well the resource support is being provided;
  7. To examine general teacher attitude towards children with special needs;
  8. To find out whether minimum equipment and teaching learning material (TLM) are available in the resource room;
  9. To determine how the school administration views the presence of children with special needs in regular school;
  10. To examine the impact of the programme on the community vis-à-vis the children with disabilities; and
  11. To study the process of the implementation of the scheme with special reference to the role of the State Governments and the NGOs.
In order to generate appropriate data through suitable research methodology, the ‘expert group’ attached to the IEDC assessment project suggested a two-pronged approach. One, collection of data from various stakeholders through a structured schedule/questionnaire by interviewing them and also through face-to-face discussion among various stakeholders through a ‘Stakeholders’ Workshop’ to be organized at the zonal level. 6 zones have been identified for this research study.

Now we need to know who are the stakeholders. They are the following:

  1. The disabled children;
  2. The non-disabled peer group;
  1. The parents of the disabled children;
  2. The parents of the non-disabled peer-group;
  3. Principals/Headmasters of Integrated Schools;
  4. Principals/Headmasters of Special Schools;
  5. NGOs Implementing the IEDC Scheme;
  6. State Government Officials in Charge of Implementing the IEDC Scheme;
  7. Principals/Headmasters of General Schools;
  8. NGOs Working in the field of Disability in general (those who do not implement the IEDC Scheme); and
  9. The Panchayat/Community Leaders.
For interviewing the above types of stakeholders 11 different survey questionnaires have been developed and field-tested in three different States to test their validity. The Stakeholders’ Workshops will also be held immediately after data collection by involving all the above types of persons. Some of the field investigators will be requested to render help for organizing these workshops.

E. Sample Framework of the Survey

For the purpose of the survey, the entire country has been divided into six zones, i.e. North, South, Central, West, East and North-east. Three states have been chosen from each zone.

  1. North: Punjab, Haryana and Uttaranchal
  2. South: Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu
  3. East: Orissa, Bihar and West Bengal
  4. North-East: Assam, Nagaland and Tripura
  5. West: Gujarat, Maharashtra and Rajasthan
  6. Central: Delhi, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh

The maximum number of contacts to be made in each of these 18 identified States is as per the details given in the table below:

Sl. No. Details of Samples Nos.
1. Integrated School Principals/Heads 05
2. Special School Principals/Heads 05
3. General school Principals/Heads 05
4. Disabled Children Studying in Integrated Schools 15
5. Non-disabled Students Studying in Integrated Schools 10
6. Parents of Disabled Children 10
7. Parents of Non-disabled Children 10
8. Panchayat/Community Leaders 05
9. NGOs Implementing IEDC Scheme 05
10. NGOs Working in the Area of Disability in General 05
11. Educational Administrators (5 Block/District Level and 1 State Level) 06
12. Maximum Sample Size in a State 81
Note: Maximum Sample Size in a Block will be 16.

F. Details about Choosing the Samples at the Block/Taluka/Tehsil Level
The following details are to be kept in mind while selecting the samples.

1. The samples will be chosen from five blocks/talukas/tehsils of five different districts of the concerned State. The districts are to be chosen in the ratio 2 Backward:2 Middle:1 Forward in terms of development status. The development status will be available from the latest State Statistical Abstracts, State Development Reports, etc. In the absence of such reports/documents discussions with the faculty of Economics/Sociology department of the local University would help. Once the districts are chosen, one block/taluka/tehsil in each district can be picked up at random. The block/taluka/tehsil can be from the district headquarters or sub-division headquarters or from any other place. But care should be taken to pick up mixed types blocks/talukas/tehsils taking the State as a whole. A maximum number of 16 contacts are to be made in a block/taluka/tehsil. The minimum contacts will, however, be 13 in any case. The maximum number of contacts may range from 14 to 16 depending upon the availability of certain types of samples (as described below) in the chosen block/taluka/tehsil. However, the selection of Districts or a block/taluka/tehsil within a District will have to be made also in accordance


with the list given by the State Level Nodal Officer (of IEDC Scheme) as referred to in point no. 9 below.
  1. Once a particular block/taluka/tehsil is selected in a district one integrated school (run under IEDC scheme) of the block/taluka/tehsil should be picked up. A list can at first be obtained from block/taluka/tehsil Education Officer (E.O.) and then an integrated school can be chosen from the list. The E. O. can be interviewed at that time. If the block/taluka/tehsil happens to be in the district headquarter then the district E.O. may be preferred for interviewing if he/she is available. The Block level or District level (as the case may be) Education Officer should be the second contact point during the fieldwork.

  2. Once the integrated school has been chosen it will be easy to identify all other samples. From the integrated school 3 disabled students and 2 non-disabled students are to be chosen. Then 2 parents of two separate disabled children (interviewing parents of the students – disabled and non-disabled – already interviewed is not allowed) and 2 parents of two different non-disabled children studying in the school are to be identified. The Head (Principal or Headmaster as she or he may be called) or a Senior Teacher in the absence of the Head of the School is to be interviewed. The integrated school (run under IEDC Scheme) in a Block should be the third contact point during fieldwork.

  3. Panchayat Leader/Councillor/Community Leader of the village, locality, etc. is to be interviewed. In case the above types of persons are not available then a former Panchayat Head/Councillor or a respectable person from the locality may be chosen for interview.

  4. Principal/Head or a Senior Teacher in the absence of the Principal/Head of a General School of the locality is to be interviewed.

  5. Principal/Head or a senior teacher in the absence of the Principal/Head of a Special School of the locality is to be interviewed. If there is no Special School in the locality (within 10 kms.), then there is no need the fill up the relevant schedule.

  1. NGO who is getting grants from the MHRD for implementing the IEDC Scheme is to be interviewed along with the identified ‘integrated school’ of the concerned block/taluka/tehsil only if the NGO is implementing the scheme in a Government or Govtaided school by arrangements with the Government authorities. This point needs further elaboration. As we have discussed above there can be three types of integrated schools run under IEDC scheme. One, the NGO getting Central government grants under IEDC scheme runs its own school. If the investigator has identified such an integrated school for interview then the schedule for ‘Head of integrated school’ will suffice and there is no need to fill up the schedule of ‘NGO getting Grants for IEDC scheme’. Two, the State government runs the IEDC programme through its schools. If the investigator has identified such an integrated school for interview then the schedule for ‘Head of integrated school’ will also suffice and there is no need to fill up the schedule of ‘NGO getting Grants for IEDC scheme’. Three, NGO is getting grants from the Central government for implementing the IEDC scheme. But it does not have a school of its own and it is running the programme in State government schools or any other school aided by the State government. In such a case the Head of the integrated school identified by you for interview will not be competent to answer questions 62 to 69 of the Schedule for ‘Heads of integrated schools’. These questions are mainly ‘grants’ related questions. Therefore, there is a need to ask the concerned NGO who is getting the grants to run the programme in the integrated school identified by you for interview. Only in such cases, the schedule of ‘NGO getting Grants for IEDC scheme’ needs to be filled up. If no such case is found in a block/taluka/tehsil, the schedule for ‘NGOs getting Grants for IEDC Scheme’ need not be filled up.

  2. NGO generally working in the field of disability in the locality (who has nothing to do with IEDC Scheme) is to be interviewed. If no such NGO is found in the locality, there is no need to fill up the schedule for ‘NGOs Working in the Field of Disability’.

  3. Educational administrator at the State Level preferably the official who is in-charge of the IEDC scheme in the concerned State is to be interviewed. The interviewing process in the State should start with this person because we have to obtain an official letter from him/her addressing the school principals/heads of integrated schools and NGOs


Implementing IEDC scheme to cooperate in the interview process and hand over the required information. The State Level Coordinator or Nodal Officer should be the starting point of the fieldwork. Doing so will smoothen the data collection process

10. The suggested sequence for fieldwork is:

  1. State Level Coordinator or Nodal Officer
  2. District or Block Level Education Officer
  3. Integrated School under IEDC Scheme
  4. Others as per investigator’s convenience

G. Procedure of Conducting the Interview

As you may be aware, interview (the process of personally asking questions of the relevant Schedule to the respondent for getting answers) is a powerful method of data collection, especially in the field of research on social and economic issues. For the purpose of such interview, the Schedule or Questionnaire may be structured and un-structured. But we are following the structured schedule interview method. The steps involved in the interview process are as follows. The interviewers are advised to keep these points in mind while talking to the respondent.

i. Preparing Thinking

The interviewer must have a well developed thought after understanding the questionnaires well as to how to conduct the interview. A proper plan must be ready in his/her mind and this plan may vary from person to person depending upon the circumstance on the field.

ii. Developing Rapport with the Interviewee

The interviewer must take enough care to get the cooperation and confidence of the respondent. Generally, he/she may be greeted with a smile or ‘how do you do’, etc. keeping the local etiquettes in view. Once a good rapport is established the respondent opens up freely and the result will be very good.

iii. Carrying Forward the Interview

The interviewer must be very cautious while the respondent speaks out after a question (along with options, if any) is read out to him/her. The interviewee should not feel ‘intervened’ and the


manners of the interviewer should be very cordial throughout the interview. However, whenever the interviewer feels that the respondent is diverting from the subject, he/she should intervene courteously to bring the respondent back to the issue. The interviewer will have to handle the situation carefully and apply his/her own judgement and expertise to carry through the interview and draw facts from the interviewee.

If the respondent may not understand a question or some questions, he/she should be explained about the questions patiently. In some cases the respondent may not be able to give a straightforward answer. The interviewer may have to adopt an alternative process (as per the prevailing situation) to get the response. But this process should never appear as giving direction to the respondent. One more thing must be borne in mind that, ‘the interviewer is not a debater but only a reporter’.

iv. Recording the Interview

Once the facts have been gathered, they must be properly recorded. To, this proper attention is to be paid otherwise the very purpose of the interview will be jeopardized. The interviewer may remain more engrossed in understanding the replies and forget to record them. Since the interviewer is not called upon to analyze the data himself/herself, he/she should take adequate care not to leave out any question or response. The only means to avoid it is to sit down with paper and pen just after completion of the interview and recapitulate and check all the points wherever he/she thinks to have left something by mistake.

Utmost care must be taken not to leave any question blank. At least the interviewers comments (in brief) based on the impression he/she gains when a question remains unanswered even after trying a lot should be noted at the appropriate space against a question.

v. Closing the Interview

Closing the interview is the last step. One may say ‘thank you very much for taking the trouble’. Since some of the interviewees will attend the stakeholders’ workshop to be held at a future date, they should be requested to participate in the same as and when the dates are finalized.

The complete addresses (along with contact telephone nos.) of some the interviewees should be kept with the interviewer to be used for this purpose in future.

H. Some Other Important Tips for the Field Observers/Investigators
The following points are very important for collection of relevant and correct data. The interviewers should be careful about these points.

  1. Please do not confuse the Integrated Education of the Disabled Children (IEDC) Scheme with the IED component of the earlier DPED Scheme or the present SSA Scheme. IEDC Scheme is an entirely different scheme. Therefore, while selecting an ‘integrated school’ please be sure that it runs under the IEDC Scheme only and not under any other programme or scheme. Always consult the list that you have obtained from the State IEDC Cell Coordinator or the IEDC Scheme Nodal Officer.

  2. Technically speaking, a school may be called an integrated school if there are some disabled children studying along with non-disabled children and there is a ‘resource teacher’ with special education qualification to take care of the educational needs of the disabled children. However, for the specific purpose of this research study any such integrated school which is not run under the IEDC Scheme will not be an integrated school to conduct the interview. Therefore, only those schools which run under IEDC Scheme are to be selected.

  3. The questionnaires are drafted in English. Therefore, every question must be well understood by the interviewer. Wherever there is any doubt the same may be clarified immediately with the IEDC project staff of RCI. While dealing with the respondents the interviewers may be required to translate the questions verbally because many of the respondents will obviously not understand English. Care must be taken not to distort the meaning or context of the questions because any such distortion will result in wrong answers and wrong entries.

  4. They should use only tick marks (v) exactly on the given responses to avoid any ambiguity and to adhere to uniformity. They should use pencils for this purpose, which is convenient to make rectifications in case of mistakes.
  5. Entries must be made in English only and in legible handwriting. The entries should be correct factually and grammatically as well. Otherwise it will be very difficult for the data entry operator to enter the correct data. Caution must be taken not to leave any question

empty and making the entries in points (where options have not been given) to facilitate data entry as per the code plan developed specifically for this purpose. If the interviewer does not get any response to any question after trying reasonably well, he/she should write about this very briefly in the available space. If the respondent gives a response not contained within the options it may be noted down separately. If there is ‘Any other (specify)’ option in the question, this option may be ticked (v) and the answer should be noted at the given space.

  1. There are open ended questions in almost all the Schedules where no specific options are given for ticking. The respondent has the liberty to tell you his/her opinion freely which you have to write down in points. In such open-ended questions there are only two points given for writing their opinion. You have to write only 2 of their points in the spaces (i) and (ii). Not more that 2 points are to be written even if the respondent mentions many.
  2. While filling up the address of the respondent the investigator has to be extra careful. The address is to be filled up in the following fashion.
    1. Village/Street:
    2. Block/Taluka/Town:
    3. District:
    4. State:
    5. Pin Code:

If the place of your visit is a village, while filling up option (i), ‘Street’ may be cut neatly like ‘Street’ and ‘Village’ should be ticked like ‘vVillage’. In case of option (ii) if you need to tick (v) ‘Taluka’ then it should be ticked like ‘vTaluka’ and the rest should be cut neatly like ‘Block/vTaluka/Town’.

8. In case of ‘Schedule for Educational Administrators’ the interview may be taken with the Block or District or State level administrator as the case may be. If you take the interview of the Block level administrator the tick the option (v) Block in the given bracket (vBlock/District/State Level) and neatly cut the other two options as displayed. Similarly you can tick (v) any other option out of the three and cut the other two as applicable.


  1. In some other cases also where you see such options and you have to choose only one of the given options please tick the relevant option and strike off the other option (s).
  2. There are various expressions used in the schedules/questionnaires like VI, PWDs, SSA, etc. The full versions of these short expressions are elaborated below.
HI = Hearing Impaired (also includes speech impaired, autism) VI = Visually Impaired (also includes low vision) MR = Mentally Retarded (also includes Cerebral Palsy) OH = Orthopaedically Handicapped MH = Multiple Handicapped (like deaf-blind) ADIP = Scheme of Assistance to Disabled Persons for Purchase/Fitting

of Aids/Appliances SSA = Sarv Siksha Abhiyaan (education for all programme) NPRPD = National Programme for Rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities PWD Act = Persons with Disabilities Act, 1995 CWDs = Children with Disabilities PWDs = Persons with Disabilities PHC = Primary Health Centre DRC = District Rehabilitation Centre CRC = Composite Resource Centre CBR = Community Based Rehabilitation VHW = Village Health Worker TLM = Teaching Learning Material

11. In Question no. 8 of Schedule for ‘Panchayat/Village/Community Leader’ a term ‘soft loans’ has been used within bracket. This term ‘soft loan’ means loans given to PWDs at lower rates of interest in comparison to other persons. In the same bracket the term ‘assistive device’ means artificial aids and appliances like caliper, hearing aid, etc.).

  1. In case of the Panchayat/Community leader, the investigator should try to interview the present Sarpanch or Councilor. If he/she is unavailable or inaccessible previous Sarpanch or Councilor may be interviewed. In the absence of both a respectable person of the community or locality may be interviewed.
  2. In Question no. 11 of the Schedule for ‘Heads of Integrated Schools’ ‘State Implementing Agency’ means the Cell that exists to coordinate the IEDC Scheme.
  3. While interviewing the Heads of Integrated Schools care must be taken so that the ‘resource teacher’ is also present during the interview process. There are many technical questions which can only be known to the ‘resource teacher’. This will ensure getting appropriate responses to many questions in the Schedule for ‘Heads of Integrated Schools’.
  4. During data collection if any difficulty or ambiguity arises on any point, the same may be clarified immediately with the IEDC project staff of RCI on telephone or through e-mail.
  5. The field observers/workers will also prepare a detailed field report describing their experience and impression about the various facets of the implementation of the scheme. If they get additional information in the course of discussion with the respondent which they think is useful, the same should be noted down carefully. This will be very helpful when the final report is made on the IEDC scheme.
  6. The field report may be generated everyday on the basis of the experience of that particular day and it may be given a final shape soon after the fieldwork is over. This will ensure that no important point is left out. The field experience report may be submitted to RCI in a neatly handwritten or typed form.
  7. Every field observer must study the IEDC scheme well and understand its nuances fully before starting the fieldwork. The relevant provisions of the PWD Act and its purposes must also be well understood by the field workers so that they can make the respondents understand if somebody does not know the PWD Act and what it prescribes to bring equal opportunities for the PWDs.
  1. The field investigator will collect the mark sheets of three latest consecutive years (for example, 2001-02, 2002-03, 2003-04) of three successive classes (for example III, IV and V) with respect to mathematics, language and environment or social studies subjects. This will help RCI to analyze the comparative performance of the disabled students and non-disabled students of a particular class. Collection of the mark sheets is a must.
  2. Question no. 46 in the schedule for the ‘Heads of Integrated Schools’ deals with the performance of disabled and non-disabled students. But the response to this question would only give us a rough idea as to how the disabled students taken as a group have performed academically in comparison to the non-disabled students taken as another group. But looking into the mark sheets would throw more light on the subject of comparative performance.
  3. Question no. 48 in the schedule for the ‘Heads of Integrated Schools’ seeks to know about what steps are taken by the teachers and school authorities to encourage the level of acceptability of disabled children by the non-disabled children of their school.
  4. The term ‘resource support’ has been used in many questions of different schedules. This term includes the resource supports both human as well as material. Human resource support means the ‘resource teacher’. Material resource support includes teaching learning material (images, maps, objects, books, toys, etc.), aids and appliances (computers, low vision devices, hearing aids, etc.) and any other material that promotes the educating process of the disabled children.
  5. While disabled or non-disabled children studying in integrated schools are interviewed care must be taken not to interview them in the presence of the teacher. This will discourage the students from giving correct responses. The presence of parents may be encouraged. In some cases like of an HI or MR child, the presence of the parents will be essential.
  6. In a State 15 non-disabled children will be interviewed. Care must be exercised to select children from all types of disabilities.
  1. While selecting the children for interview (especially the non-disabled children) care must be taken to see that they are vocal enough to express their opinion.
  2. After filling up the questionnaires (during any day) the investigators must go through the same again (in the evening) to check the questionnaires again to see whether anything written is difficult to read or difficult to understand. They will also see whether they have made any mistake while ticking the options. While ticking an option care must be taken to ensure so that a part of the tick mark is not overlapping another option. If this happens then the data entry operator will find it difficult to know the right option.
  3. After finishing the whole fieldwork the investigators will again go through all the filled up questionnaires to weed out any mistake done inadvertently.
  4. The investigator will introduce himself/herself as a representative of RCI and show the letters of the Ministry of HRD and the RCI given to them whenever there is any demand for such letters. They must always carry several copies of such letters for meeting any need.
  5. The field observers/workers will also collect the brief profile (containing population, no. of educational institutions, economic and social status of its people, literacy status, male-female ratio, etc.) of the District and the Block selected for the fieldwork. Such information will be useful while writing the final report. The latest statistical abstract or development report of the concerned State may also sent to RCI for information.
  6. In each State the responsibility of data collection has been given to two investigators. These two investigators will coordinate with each other for ensuring smooth collection of data. Moreover, these investigators have been referred to RCI by the Head of one organization of the concerned State. The Head of the concerned organization will be the ‘Coordinator’ and they have to do the data collection work as per the Coordinator’s advice.
  7. The investigators must take enough care to keep the filled up questionnaire in safe custody and hand over the same to the Coordinator as soon as the data collection work is over.
  1. The investigators will be representing the MHRD as well as the RCI. Therefore, they should be very careful in their conduct and utterances.
  2. They should not throw away the notes taken during the data collection process because clarifications may be necessary from them even much after their work is over.
  3. They should be prepared to render help for the ‘Stakeholders’ Workshop’ (to be held after the data collection process is over) as and when they are requested for the same.


HI = Hearing Impaired (also includes speech impaired, autism) VI = Visually Impaired (also includes low vision) MR = Mentally Retarded (also includes Cerebral Palsy) OH = Orthopaedically Handicapped MH = Multiple Handicapped (like deaf-blind) ADIP = Scheme of Assistance to Disabled Persons for Purchase/Fitting of Aids/Appliances SSA = Sarva Siksha Abhiyaan (education for all programme) NPRPD = National Programme for Rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities PWD Act = Persons with Disabilities Act, 1995 CWDs = Children with Disabilities PWDs = Persons with Disabilities PHC = Primary Health Centre DRC = District Rehabilitation Centre CRC = Composite Resource Centre CBR =Community Based Rehabilitation VHW = Village Health Worker TLM = Teaching Learning Material


Last Updated on Thursday, 08 December 2011 10:12

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