DoE bid to educate street kids

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, January 22:

The Department of Education (DoE) is piloting a new project for providing education to street kids along with providing inclusive education to physically handicapped children and those from the deprived communities, with the intention of roping in the 16 per cent children who have dropped out. Diwaker Awasthi, chief of the Inclusive Education Section under the DoE said a guideline has been formed and that within the next two months programmes will be conducted with the co-ordination of governmental and non-governmental organisations who were already associated with such programmes.

According to the Flash Report I, School Level Educational Statistics 2004, 16 per cent of children are out of school and these children were deprived due to reasons of physically disability, ethnicity, and poverty. “The co-ordination will help check duplication of the programmes,” said Awasthi. Due to meagre resources, DoE is starting the programme only in Kathmandu, Banke and Sunsari, at first. “We are starting with three centres each with at least 21 children, beginning this year,” said Awasthi. “We will take in more children, according to need and resources.” Besides, the DoE has increased the number of schools for Inclusive Education at the primary level. Districts selected are, Udayapur, Sindhupalchowk, Kavre, Jhapa, Chitwan, Bardia and Dadheldhura.

There are 60 Inclusive Education schools that cater to physically disabled students, children from ethnic communities and economically deprived sections. “This is a new approach, since students from different backgrounds can study in a good environment,” said Awasthi.

“The children who could not go to ‘special’ schools can now acquire education in these schools in their own neighbourhood,” said Awasthi. “The thrust is now on teachers’ training so that they are able to teach children from different backgrounds.”