Education for all!
Story from Bajhang under Education
Recently constructed disability-inclusive building of Bathpali Secondary School in Bajhang.
Bathpali Secondary School is a unique government-run school in the Far West Province. It provides inclusive education opportunities for children with disabilities (CWDs), including visually impaired children and others. They all study alongside those without disabilities. Located in Bajhang, around 600 children from Grade 1 to 10 study here.
However, the school had limited provision to create an environment suitable for visually impaired children. The School Management Committee rented a house close to the school and tried to provide a hostel facility, but the children faced many difficulties. These included mobility, grasping the lessons provided in the traditional classroom environment, improving their learning outcomes, and maintaining their personal hygiene.
UMN worked in collaboration with its local partner PYS* and supported the school to adopt and apply an inclusive education approach. It also provided the essentials such as kitchen utensils, beds and other furniture. They constructed a toilet, and provided sign language and braille training for the teachers. Some of the key initiatives of UMN and PYS in the school before 2019 had been to promote the teachers’ capacity to deliver inclusive education and advocacy for the CwDs’ right to that education.
Realising the need for safe residential accomodation for CwDs, UMN designed an inclusive building and collaborated with the local government for construction. The construction started in May 2021 and was completed in April 2022, achieved by the local government investing 25 percent of the cost of construction and UMN 75 percent. The residential building was inaugurated and handed over to the School Management Committee on 19 April 2022.
The school is now providing a much-improved learning environment to the CwDs, including children with visual impairment. A total of 15 CwDs (two girls) and six orphan children (two girls) are staying in the hostel. Children are very glad to stay in this new facility and teachers and parents are also happy to see the improved learning facilities at the school.
Kalak Bahadur Chalaune, the school principal shared, “The new hostel building will certainly improve the retention of the CwDs in the school and I hope, with the facility of the new hostel, the quality of education of the CwDs will improve a lot.” This inclusive hostel facility has ensured that those with disabilities are not left behind.
*Pragatishil Yuwa Samaj