Disabled kids benefit from education plan

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, January 8:

Educating children with disability would mean changing their lives for better forever.

Akar, a 12-year-old patient of cerebral palsy, was a burden to his family some five years ago because the family members had to devote a lot of time to take care of him. But things have changed a lot after they sent him to the Community-based Rehabilitation Centre (CBR). Now he can sit and take a few steps on his own. And what is more encouraging is that he is now enrolled in a school, which he immensely enjoys. He is no more a burden to his family.

A flip through ‘Give us a chance’, a study report prepared by Save the Children Norway-Nepal (SCNN) and launched on Friday, reveals how inclusive education programme for children with disabilities has helped them lead a normal life.

Asta Laxmi Shakya, Minister for Women, Children and Social Welfare released the report.

The SCNN started the inclusive education programme through the community-based rehabilitation projects for children with disabilities in 1990 and now it covers five municipalities and 113 VDCs across the districts of Bhaktapur, Lalitpur, Morang and Palpa.

Despite extra challenges they face, examination results indicate that children with disabilities pass at about the same rate as their peers without disability, the report said.

In one district, their average pass rate for 2003 was 5 per cent lower than their peers without disability; in another 8 per cent higher, and in two they were identical. About 4000 children have been registered in these projects till date.

In 2003 the number of school-going children was 872 who were accommodated by 270 schools. Valter Tinderholt, resident representative of SCNN, said the differently abled children too have potential to lead a creative and fruitful life but they should be given a chance to lead their lives independently.