Problems running classes for disabled kids

Dhankuta, December 3

Margeshwori Primary School is facing problems operating classes for mentally challenged students due to lack of adequate classrooms and expert teachers at Chharagaun of Dhankuta Municipality in Dhankuta.

School head teacher Shrawan Lal Rai said children from Grade I to V, who were not able to speak and listen, were kept in a single room to carry out teaching-learning activities. “We have been facing problems to carry out teaching-learning activities among children of different age groups,” he said. He added sign language would have to be used for children with hearing disability and learning process would be different for students of different grades. “Every student was different and they required diverse teaching approaches. So, experts are needed,” he added.

Rai said it was very difficult to make children understand concepts as they had varying perceptive abilities.

Khem Thapa, a teacher at the school, said teacher-to-student ratio in such special cases needed to be 1:10 but in the absence of sign language teacher, Thapa had been handling all 26 children.

The school was established in 1996 with 26 students enrolled from Dhankuta, Bhojpur, Sankhuwasabha, Tehrathum, Sunsari and Morang districts of Province 1. The government has offered Rs 4,000 per month per student for food, accommodation, sanitation and other expenses. Rai said one teacher and a care taker were managed from the amount.

According to caretaker Rupa Rai, it is difficult to manage food, shelter, treatment and clothes, among other things, for the children in winter. “It was difficult to even offer clothes as per the weather,” she said. She opined that two care takers had to be managed to look after more than 20 students.

The school has been collecting funds from several organisations.

Dhankuta Municipality is yet to release fund to the school though eight months have passed since the academic session started. Special training for teachers to teach disabled children is needed in the district.