No school for the hearing impaired in Charikot

- RAJENDRA MANANDHAR, Dolakha

Jun 21, 2014-

Following the failure to establish a school at the district headquarters in Charikot for hearing-impaired children, the plight of 33 such children brought from remote settlements has become uncertain.

Without any help from concerned authorities, the children are being taken care of and living in a makeshift hostel at Charikot with assistance from locals and various NGOs.

“The children have been compelled to sleep without food and in hopes of the government arranging for their education,” said Nirajan Upreti, chairperson of the association for the deaf in Dolakha. Upreti lamented that although five years had passed since they had taken initiative to build the school, they were yet to realise their goal due to the apathy of the government.

On March 9, 2011, at a programme organised by Cho-Rolpa Hearing Impaired Club, the National Association of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Nepal had decided to establish a special school for the differently abled children after consulting the Chief District Officer, Education Officer, Local Development Officer, and 20 government and non-government officials.

“We agreed to take care of the children with assurances of a new school, but it is getting harder to look after them,” said Saruna Manadhar, chairperson of the stakeholders’ committee for the proposed school. Manadhar added that approximately Rs 400,000 in children’s expenditure had become overdue. He claimed the amount was spent on daily essentials like, food, shelter, and clothes. According to her, they have run out of options other than to return the children home. The situation is, however, complex as some of the parents are reluctant to take back their children.

Meanwhile, Inclusive Education Section under the Ministry of Education has corresponded to the District Education Office (DEO) directing it to admit the children to community schools with low number of students or on the brink of closure in Charikot. But some of the children lamented on the fact that they were denied admissions in Darfesthan Primary School, Charikot.

When asked about the admission denial, DEO Deepak Sharma claimed that schools receiving government grants are not allowed to deny the students. Sharma, however, assured to take initiative to construct the school as soon as possible. Concerned authorities have advised to send the children to the resource centre at Charikot in order to learn sign languages as a temporary alternative to building a school.

The hearing-impaired children have different views. They see themselves developing well enough to sustain themselves in a separate school where the curriculum suits their capabilities.       

Published: 22-06-2014 09:31

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