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May 13, 2016

Draft of School Sector Development Plan analyzed from Disability Perspective


Participants of SSDP ProjectCaption: Participants of SSDP Workshop

NFDN, in the partnership with Plan Nepal convened a workshop on feeding the draft of School Sector Development Plan(SSDP) from the disability perspective among different stakeholders. The event was held on 12th May, 2016 at World Trade Center, Kathmandu.

The event saw around 60 participants from District Education Offices of Kathmandu valley, INGOs/development partners, resource classes; special schools and integrated schools, major DPOs working in the education sector of children with disabilities, some board members of NFDN and national media such as Gorkhapatra and so on.

School Sector Reform Plan(SSRP), 2009-16 is recently going to be phase out by the end of upcoming June 2016 in Nepal. Government of Nepal(Ministry of Education) is now preparing the another plan, SSDP for next 7 years(2016-22).

In this circumstance, the present event aimed to get some feedback on the draft1 of SSDP from the disability perspective and pressurize the ministry of education(MOE) incorporating the genuine inputs on the final draft.

Mr. Mukunda Mani Khanal, undersecretary of Ministry of Education initially put his presentation on “SSDP draft and adopted disability issues on it”. Following his presentation, all the participants, in four separate groups, discussed upon the major four topics: ECED, Basic education, Secondary education and technical education and teacher management.

Mr. Mukunda Mani Khanal, Undersecretary of Ministry of Education presenting during the programCaption: Mr. Mukunda Mani Khanal, Undersecretary of Ministry of Education presenting during the program

Finally, All four groups presented their feedback and rapporteur, Dr. Basu Kafle summarized the event. Mr. Bimal Paudel, program coordinator of NFDN clarified the objectives  and modality of the workshop whereas The whole event was jointly moderated by Mr. Shudarson Subedi, The president and Mr. Raju Basnet, General secretary of NFDN.

The summary of the feedback submitted to Ministry of Education is presented below:

Feeding School Sector Development Plan from Disability Perspective

The Draft School Sector Development Plan (SSDP), when viewed from disability perspective, should address the issues, themes and challenges that were outlined by the participants of the workshop (May 12, 2016) organized under the partnership between NFDN and Plan Nepal. The outlined issues also pave way for advocating policies and programs in tune to the spirit of SDG four which ensures equitable and inclusive quality education  as well as lifelong learning  opportunities for all including children with disabilities.

  1. As there is a policy provision for all basic education schools to establish a one year school based ECED program, equitable entry into this education system should be ensured for children with disability as a right based approach to their education.
  2. The school education structure i. e. grade one through twelve, should include one year of ECED in its regular structure so as to make it an integral part of school education system and children with disability should be facilitated to have an easy entry into it.
  3. The EMIS data should also include the data of children with disability by type, severity and prevalence based on which plan and programs should be drawn and implemented.
  4. Children with psychosocial disabilities which are often ignored for their education should be included as one of the target groups for inclusion to provide them with learning opportunities that focus on child-focused learning, play, participation, peer interaction and development of partnership.
  5. Inclusive environment should be created at all levels of education to bring shift from discriminatory and stigmatizing environment to a welcoming environment that accepts diversities and differences without any preoccupied notions and prejudices.
  6. Branching out of vocational and technical education for children with disability should start toward the end of basic education in order to prepare them to go into vocational or technical stream with the needed life skills.
  7.  Inclusion without the availability of support services and assistive devices as per the need of the individual child with disability should not be ventured out in the name of inclusive education. Inclusion without support services and the availability of trained and qualified teachers is deemed to be a failureif the principles of integration and inclusion are not given due consideration. School management should be pretty aware of this unique situation in order to actively facilitate the participation of these children in classroom activities.
  8. The gap between the worldof education and the world of work should be bridged,more so in the case of children with disability, and this should start with the initiation of transition management toward the end of school education in order to avoid the fear for work and devoid of skills.
  9.  All the schools should be declared inclusive schools by defining minimum enabling conditions and learning needs that are age and needs specific. This should be more so in the case of children with disabilities whose needs are often ignored in the name of mainstreaming them in the regular education system.
  10. The cost of not schooling children with disabilities is higher than their cost of schooling; this should be taken into consideration while developing the school into inclusive school with trained teachers, availability of support services, adjusted curriculum and textbooks as well as learning materials.
  11. Financing of education for children with disabilities including their vocational or technical education should solely be the responsibility of the state; education along with learning materials and supportive devices as well as other forms of intervention including early intervention should be the responsibility of the state too.
  12.  Early diagnosis as well as early intervention for disabilities, especially developmental disabilities, should be facilitated by a team of experts comprising doctor, psychologist,behavioral therapist,occupational therapist,physiotherapist andspeech language therapist. The therapeutic services, once again, should be made available by the government free of cost.
  13. Teacher training and preparation of qualified human resource should be the priority of the government and they should be trained along the principles of inclusion. However, they should also be knowledgeable about disability specific areas with which they can work as resource teachers for other regular teachers as well.
  14.  Children with multiple disabilities and or severe disabilities might go ignored or unnoticed due to severity of their condition for schooling purpose. The concept of taking to them the schooling services should be introduced in the form of home schooling support in order to translate into reality that all can learn and have the potentials to do so.
  15.  The use of ICT should form a part of the schooling of children with disabilities; it should be used to ease their process of learning and making their life comfortable. The government should facilitate the purchase of such devices at a discount rate for them.
  16. Existing teacher training program, curriculum and curricular materials, teaching learning materials and the stereotypes used in teaching rather unknowingly should be reviewed for their appropriacyand usefulness leading to reorientation of the training system.
  17.  Management committees related to school management should have representation from the parents of children with disabilities; the PTA and child clubs should seek participation of children with disabilities along with their parents.
  18. Adjustment to the existing assessment system should be made to respond to the differing individual needs and potentials of children with disabilities; tests that do not test what these children have or know about should be scrapped out.

 

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