Hearing-impaired children deprived of education

Surkhet, October 14

Hearing-impaired children of far-western and mid-western regions have been deprived of school education beyond primary level for want of a school that provides further education to such kids in the regions.

As of now, Siddha Hearing Impaired Children Primary School in Birendranagar, Surkhet is the only school that caters education to children with hearing impairment in the regions.

As there is no school for them to pursue further education, these kids don’t have any option other than to put a full stop to their studies for good once they have passed Grade VIII.

The school established around 38 years ago has some 95 students now. “They’ll be here up to Grade VIII, but what after that?,” said the school management committee chairperson Loman Budha, adding most of these kids were bound to stay at home once they passed out.

Kids from well-to-do families may go elsewhere for further schooling, but poor ones have to put the brakes on their studies,” he added.

Let alone setting up more schools for hearing-impaired kids in the area, even the existing school is faring very badly in terms of resources. On one hand, the school lacks qualified teachers and on the other hand, the school does not sufficient resources even to pay the existing teaching staff.

“As the government hasn’t provided enough teachers, we’ve managed teaching staff from local sources,” Budha said, adding there were times when the school called on guardians to chip in funds to pay the teachers. Further, he said, “The government has failed to provide special treatment to a school like this. It has failed to ensure necessary infrastructure for the school’s smooth functioning.”

According to Budha, the school lacks classrooms. “On one hand, the building constructed around 34 years ago has turned old, and on the other, the existing number of classrooms are not enough,” he said, adding, “Several times, we requested the concerned authority to run classes above Grade VIII, but to no avail.”

Meanwhile, sources at the District Education Office said the office was planning to grant permit for running upper classes in the school. “We’re in communication with the centre to allow the school to run senior classes and improve physical infrastructure there,” said Information Officer Bhoj Prasad Lamsal at the DEO.