Special needs education in Nepal

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Superstitions and supernatural beliefs are very common in Nepali and Hindu cultures. This superstition is very present in rural areas where education rates are low and majority of people are illiterate. Of Nepal’s population 2% are disabled and 30% of this figure are children. [1] These children often fall victim to the superstitious mindset of Nepali people. They are often seen as cast-offs, pariahs or as a punishment of karma. Due to this outlook, they are not given the chance to thrive in a community, where they are largely disregarded. 50% of disabled children are out of school and fail to integrate within Nepali society.[1]

Research completed by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and Plan International has found that children with disabilities were on average 10 times less likely to go to school than children without disabilities.[2] The social stigma attached to children with disability prevents them from not only being educated, but also affects their families providing them with health services and employment in the future. The rejection from social groups, leads to them living a life of an outcast.

The improvement in treatment of disabled children in Nepal, is a cause we are very passionate about at Our Sansar. In our Birgunj home, there is a child who is unable to talk, his name is Ram. Unlike most children at the home, Ram was found by a river bed with no ability to care for himself. He was unable to clean, dress or look after himself to any capacity.  Since living at the home, Ram has transformed into a hard-working and intelligent boy. At the home you will always find him helping Deepak with the buffalos, helping Chachi in the kitchen, or playing cricket with the the other boys of the home.

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After completing a medical examination, it was found his tongue was completely  inflexible. Doctors have completed surgery to alleviate the problems with his tongue. His speech is already improving, and he is starting to say words such as “Hello!” and “Thank you!”

We are not only proud of Ram’s incredible improvement, but also the attitude the others boys living with Ram. He is always included by the boys, and as one of the older boys, is seen as a big brother figure to the boys. We believe this is a result of the education the boys the receive, not only at school but at the home as a whole. Many studies have shown education with rural environments can help develop a positive attitude towards disability, and we heavily promote this within Our Sansar.[3]

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Check out our video on Ram’s story here: https://player.vimeo.com/video/203134766?autoplay=1

You can also find out more about our latest projects and donate here: https://www.globalgiving.org/donate/16982/our-sansar/

References

1. International, S. the C. (2017) Appeal for education of children with disability. Available at: https://nepal.savethechildren.net/news/appeal-education-children-disability (Accessed: 5 March 2017).

2. Include us in education (2014) Available at: https://plan-international.org/publications/include-us-disability-inclusion-education (Accessed: 5 March 2017)

3. Women, S. (2013) Attitude towards disability in Nepal. Available at: https://sevenwomenngo.wordpress.com/2013/08/12/attitude-towards-disability-in-nepal/ (Accessed: 5 March 2017).

 

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