Kathmandu, April 15

Australia’s Ambassador to Nepal Glenn White today bid farewell to 17 Nepalis representing government offices, disabled peoples’ organisations and parents’ networks, who are taking part in a short course on inclusive education, in Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia from April 8 to 29.

The Australian government, through the Australia Awards Short Course Programme, is hosting the course with an objective of enhancing understanding of models of inclusive education and inclusivity practices and models appropriate to Nepal. The programme will also provide valuable inputs in the wake of reconstruction schools damaged in the earthquakes last year.

The course aims to broaden participants’ understanding of a range of services, strategies and providers and to facilitate equitable access to education for children and youth with disabilities; expand knowledge on models and practices for inclusive education and at the same time forge meaningful relationships and people-to-people links, and provide a platform for knowledge and experience-sharing among the participants.

Addressing the pre-departure briefing to the participants of the short course, Ambassador White said, “Children with disabilities are particularly disadvantaged by limited access, inequity and poor quality of education. Better access to appropriate education services is required to enable more CWDs realise their full potential and live productive lives.”

White also stressed that special focus should be given on girls and women with disabilities as evidence shows multiple disadvantages resulting from the interplay between poverty and discrimination on the basis of gender and disability limits girls’ and women’s  voices and empowerment, constraining their opportunities for economic, political and social advancement. Australia has been providing financial support for education in Nepal through the School Sector Reform Program, the Australian NGO Cooperation Program, the Direct Aid Program, and the Australia Awards South and West Asia Programme.