Bill moots free education for persons with disabilities

Kathmandu, July 29

The rights of persons with disability bill, which is under consideration in the Parliament, has proposed free education for disabled people.

Section 21 of the bill says that any person with disability shall be provided with free education by the Government of Nepal or education institutions run by local levels. “Educational institutions designated by the government shall provide to persons with disability higher education free of charge. No fee shall be charged to such persons while being enrolled in educational institutions,” it read.

They will also be entitled to vocational and technical education free of charge. The proposed law has also barred educational institutions from discriminating against disabled persons in extracurricular activities, and distribution of and access to educational materials. “The government may also make arrangements for providing free education to children of disabled persons,” states the bill.

It has mooted that the government may make necessary arrangements for providing education to persons with hearing and vision disability through use of appropriate language, method, format and media.

“The government may provide free education with residence facilities to disabled persons depending on geographical remoteness and severity of disability,” reads the bill.

It has stated that the government shall provide for a separate examination and evaluation system for disabled persons on the basis of classification of disabilities. The proposed law also requires private educational institutions to provide disabled persons with free education on quota determined by the government.

Persons with disabilities and their assistants are provided, respectively, free fare and 50 per cent discount and seat will be reserved in public transport. Discount facility will also be provided on customs and other taxes while buying or importing vehicles for people with disability or such people.

According to the 2011 national census, about two per cent (513,321) of the total population of the country is living with one or the other kind of disability.

Of them, 280,086 are male and 233,235 female. Physical disability constitutes 36.3 per cent of the population with disability followed by blindness/low vision (18.5 per cent), deaf/hard of hearing (15.4 per cent), speech problem (11.5 per cent), multiple disability (7.5 per cent), mental disability (6 per cent), intellectual disability (2.9 per cent) and deaf-blind (1.8 per cent).

Around 80 per cent of the disabled people in the country are illiterate and 95 per cent are unemployed.