Students with various kinds of disabilities pose for photos in Margeshwari Boarding School of Dhankuta. Photo: Republica
DHANKUTA, Jan 3: Despite enrolling students with disability, most of the schools established for disabled children have been accused of neglecting such students when it comes to imparting education. Margeshwari Boarding School of Dhankuta Municipality-4 is a special school for students who cannot hear, see, speak or walk.
As the school has students with different kinds of physical and mental disability, teaching all of them together has become a challenge. Since everyone of them cannot understand the same way, teachers struggle a lot to make all of them understand the course. But not all teachers are capable to teach the students with various disabilities.
Therefore, all students are taught the same way but only a few understand, while others just observe. Shrawan Lal Rai, principal of the school, laments that the school teacher is having a hard time making all students understand the course. "Students with all kinds of disability study in the same class. Teaching every single student in their way is difficult," said Principal Rai.
As per the government provision, there should be one teacher for 10 students but here a single teacher is teaching all the students in the school.
"We have altogether 27 students. Among them, 21 are studying in government quota while the remaining are supported by donors," Rai added.
According to him, it is difficult to find teachers who have been trained to teach children with disability. That is why we have a student who has just completed his Diploma helping the school teach the students.
Principal Rai who has taken ten months of special training provided by the National Federation of Deaf Nepal (NFDN) has been teaching the students with disability since the past 23 months.
Though the government has been providing money for food, shelter and other expenses of 21 students, the school is obliged to accommodate other students with the limited budget provided by the government. Government offers Rs 4,000 per month on behalf of each student. Established in the year 1996, this school has adopted English medium to teach the students. Students can study here up to fifth grade.
In winter, children struggle in lack of warm clothes as it is not possible for the school to buy them warm clothes with the money offered by the government. As a result, the school authority has to knock the doors of various organizations seeking help.
What is more disappointing is the negligence of parents towards their disabled children. After sending their children to schools, parents hardly show up. "Despite being informed, some parents don't show much concern toward the treatment of their children when they are injured or fall ill," said Shrawan Lal, a teacher at the school.
Apart from Dhankuta, students from Sankhuwasabha, Tehrathum, Bhojpur and Morang have made this school their home. There are altogether eight schools of this type in the whole district.