Nepal Association for the Welfare of the Blind is one of the pioneer organizations that worked for inclusive education of children with visual disability. NAWB has been helping children with visual disability for basic level education materials developed in Braille script and its distribution. In addition to this, NAWB and NAB are jointly working on production of Braille education materials as well as distribution. NAWB and NAB have joint meetings for the development of inclusive education in Nepal whose main agenda were related to Braille education materials, trained teachers, disable friendly infrastructures and environment of school, effective monitoring mechanism etc. NAWB and NAB had come up with a common agenda to work for same kind of right holders so, developed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) duly signed for time of two years after these meetings.
The common agendas after the 2 quarterly meetings for Inclusive Education were: Braille Eductaion Materials, Teacher’s Training and Monitoring Mechanism played a major role to develop strong background to organize the “Gap Analysis Workshop”. As per the decision of these meetings NAWB organized the “Gap Analysis on Inclusive Education System in Nepal for Children with visual disability” workshop in partnership with NAB and National Federation of Disabled – Nepal (NFD-N) under the support of Christofel Blinden Mission (CBM) on 27th August, 2015 (10th Jestha 2072) in Kathmandu.
The following were the thematic paper presented in the workshop by:
- Braille Education Materials (Mr. Amrit Rai, Director, NAB)
- Monitoring Mechanism for Inclusive Education (Mr. Rudra P. Adhikari, DOE)
- Teacher’s Training (Mr. Kumar Thapa, Chairperson, NAWB)
The closing session of this workshop was chaired by Mr. Kumar Thapa, Chairperson, NAWB, chief guest for the session was Mr. Imarayan Shrestha, Director, NCDE, while the thematic paper session was chaired by Prof. Dr. Basudev kafle, Expert of Inclusive Education, Central Department of Education, Tribhuvan University. The Workshop had participants from following organizations:
- Prof. Dr. Basudev Kafle, Expert Inclusive Education, CDE, TU
- Mr. Imnarayan Shrestha, Director, NCDE, Sanothimi, Bhaktapur
- Mr. Jaya Lamshal, NCDE, Sanothimi, Bhaktapur
- Mr. Rudra Prasad Adhikari, Deputy Director, DoE, Sanothimi, Bhaktapur
- Mr. Shaurabh Sharma, Program Officer, CBM NCO, Lazimpat, Kathmandu
- Mr. Kumar Thapa, Chairperson, NAWB, Kathmandu
- Mr. Ramesh Pokhrel, Chairperson, NAB, Kathmandu
- Bibek Kumar Paudel, General Secretary, NAWB
- Mr. Om Bam Malla, Executive Director, NAWB
- Mr. Nar Bahadur Limbu, Advisor, NAB, Kathmandu
- Mr. Amrit Rai, Director, NAB, Kathmandu
- Mr. Prakash Ghimire, Program Officer, NAWB
- Indu Panta, Program Officer, NAB
- Prabhakar Neupane, Representative, NAB
- Mr. Madhav Aryal, Director, ICVI, Bhaktapur
- Hom Nath Aryal, CHEERS Hospital, Manahara, Bhaktapur
- Deepawali Sharma, Vice-Chairperson, NFD-N, Kathmandu
- Damodar Pandit, Program Officer,UMN, Kathmandu
- Nirmala Gyawali, ADSoN, Kathmandu
- Ms. Sarita Lamichhane, NDWA, Kathmandu
- Rajesh Man KC, Chairperson, Blind Guardian Association Nepal, Kathmandu
- Punya Pratap Sah, Chairperson, New Light Blind Center, Kathmandu
- Sanukaji Mahat, Principal, Sanjiwani HSS, Kabhre
- Tekraj Pokhrel, Forward Looking, Lalitpur
- Pawan Ghimire, Central Committee Member, NAWB
- Deepak Koirala, Central Committee Member, NAWB
- Utsav Nepal, Lalitpur Assoiation of Blind, Lalitpur
- Nawaraj Dhakal, Representative, Blind Student
- Sita Sharma, Representative, Blind Student
- Mukunda Kshetri, ICRI, Kathmandu
- Ratna Kaji Dangol, NAWB
- Fauj Bahadur Karki, NAWB
- Rashila Bajracharya, NAWB
- Ganga Prasad Ghorasaine, NAWB
- Prem Bhakta Dangol, NAWB
The thematic paper presentation sessions had three papers presented and have a brief question answer session followed by group division and group work. After the group work and group presentation the question answer session was followed by comments and suggestions session chaired by Mr.Hom Nath Aryal and Madhav Aryal.
Nepal Association for the Welfare of the Blind (NAWB) organized a seminar of Principal 10 integrated schools regarding the strategy of inclusive education in 2043. Similarly, in 2047, NAWB also organized a workshop of 10 headmasters of inclusive education in Purvanchal Gyan Chakshu School, Dharan, Sunsari.
In 2043 with initiation of NAWB with Special Education Council, Tribhuvan University and Christofel Blinden Mission (CBM) started 1 year BEd program for Blind. This 1 year BEd program ended on 2051 and 22 resource teachers were benefitted. And TU also started the resource teacher’s training package of 5 months for primary level where 56 resource teachers were benefitted.
Similarly in 2043 on initiation of NAWB Tokyo Hellen Keller Association (THKA) and Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital (TUTH) jointly organized “Research on Methodology of Integrated Education” workshop for headmasters and resource teachers of 10 integrated schools.
NAWB managed to have 1 Aaya, 1 cook, 2 trained resource teachers and NPR. 200 additional allowances for resource teacher and scholarship and all living expenses for 8 blind children in each school from its own source in different integrated schools allover the country.
NAWB developed provide 6 weeks “Braille Training” for resource teachers teaching blind children in different integrated schools. And NAWB also provide resoeurce teacher’s training under the financial support of Nepal Government, Ministry of Education and Department of Education. NAWB had organized 32 different training and benefitted 245 resource teachers of 45 integrated schools and 25 community schools for Braille script. NAWB also had organized refresher trainings in different interval of time benefitting 80 resource teachers under financial support of Department of Education and own source. This 6 week Braille training has following topic:
- Nepali Braille
- English Braille
- Nemeth Braille Code
- Orientation and Mobility
- Anotomy of Eye and General Diseases
- Blind and Low Vision
- Domestric Rules and Regulation about Disability
Presently, Nepal Government under NCED had provided Braille Training for Resource Teachers. NAWB had provided training to 245 and Nepal Government had provided training to …. Resource teachers respectively. The training of resource teachers that was a package of 6 weeks have been changed to 1 month and refresher training of 10 days by NCED.
This paper was presented by Mr. Kumar Thapa, chairperson of NAWB and concluded the following:
- Policy and Laws of Resource Teacher’s Training
- Special Education Policy 2053: This include the school having Blind and other type of disable students shoulde be provided with resource teacher’s training for resource teachers for running resource classes.
- Education Regulation 2059: Rule 15 (k) includes manage and organize necessary training for informal and special education.
We have clearly mentioned in law that, training must be provided to resource teachers of integrated schools for blind and disable children. But, apart from that there is no provision of training and orientation for teacher involded in inclusive education, Principals, members of school management committee, aaya and relevant stakeholders.
- Lack of Comprehensive Training Package including reseource teachers related with inclusive education
- Lack of Orientation for members of school management committee and relevant stakeholders
- Lack of ECD orientation for ECD facilitators to organize ECD Class
- The training package for resource teachers lacks the topic related to multiple disabilities
- There is lack of coordination between organization with Braille Training experts and stakeholders
- The training for resource teachers of complete 1 month package, refresher training or TPT has not updated syllabus and subject matters.
- The untimely transfer of the resource teachers to other schools
- The Comprehensive Training Package of resource teachers of integrated schools must be mandatory in policy
- The orientation program for resource teachers, Principals, school management committee, other teachers, Aaya muct be managed.
- To run the resource classes, there should be special class training for ECD Facilitators
- There must be coordination between government and relevant stakeholders working for training of resource teachers
- The training package must include the topics related to multiple disabilities.
- The transfer of the trained resource teachers must be done to integrated school only
- The protocol of “one school, one trained resource teacher” must be maintained
- For the development of trained teachers, his working ability should be maintained as progress index
BRAILLE EDUCATION MATERIALS
- Policy and Laws
- Ongoing 13th Plan: ongoing 13th plan has objective to make education system more inclusive and equitable for all, accessible to people with disabilities, stop the all kinds of ….. at school, scholarships for children with disability, execution of resource classes, extra time during examination, boarding facilities, and provision of witing helper during exam for children with disability in the policy.
- Interim Constitution 2006 (2063): This main law document of the country has a provision of “Education for free for all children” in it.
- UNCRPD Article 9 and 24: The article 9 and 24 of United Nactions Convention for Right to Person with Disability has provision of right of children with blindness and visual impairment to have Braille education materials for their study.
- Special Education Policy 2060: This policy has a clear provision for students with blindness will have Braille education materials for their education
In Nepal, there has been a very important role of non government sector for Braille education material production and distribution. In present context, Department of Education (DOE) is working for the production and distribution of basic level braille education materials for blind and visually impaired children. DOE has been coordinating with non government sectors for the production of the Braille education materials in Nepal. And the presentation from Nepal Assosicatio of the Blind regarding the problems and gaps of Braille Education Materials in Nepal presented by Mr. Amrit Rai, Director had the following gaps and its solutios:
- Since the Braille script is expensive for every blind child, concerned stakeholders and government authorities are not being able to publish and distribute optional subject as well.
- The Braille books have not reached each school before the education calendar.
- Department of Education is principle authority not being able to complete process for production and distribution of Braille books in time
- “Braille Education Materials” is taken as Braille Books only, so other materials like slate, stylus, geometry kit box, Braille paper, abacus, white cane, talking watch are not in priority
- The libraries in integrated and higher secondary school do not have reference materials and other education materials in Braille script and this does not come in to priority in government’s policy as well.
- The compulsory and optional subjects studied by blind and visually impaired children should be made available in Braille script in all integrated schools
- The government authority DOE should complete all processes before December of each fiscal year to provide Braille education material in time before the education calendar starts.
- The concerned stakeholders and government authority should develop programs to distribute other education materials rather than Braille books only
- Higher secondary school level compulsory and optional subjects must be developed in Braille script
- All the libraries of integrated school should have Braille reference materials and other education materials.
MONITORING MECHANISM IN INCLUSIVE EDUCATION
The most important part in inclusive education is monitoring mechanism and the theme paper was prepared and presented by Mr. Rudra Prasad Adhikari, Deputy Director, Inclusive Education Section of Department of Education. This theme paper was followed by discussion and had following policy, gaps and solutions:
- Provision of Policy and Regulation for Inclusive Education’s monitoring mechanism
- Special Education Policy 2053: To monitor the schools with special education to ensure effective management, current monitoring and evaluation mechism should be made integrated.
- Education Regulation 2059: In rule 14 (f) 15 (k), 17 (p) and 62 (e) of this regulation there is provision of monitoring and evaluation. According to this rule, there is provision of Director General’s right, duty and responsibility, training for informal and special education and monitoring and evaluation.
- Special Education Policy Guideline 2060: This guideline has provision of rights, duties and responsibility of special education school’s management committee, regular monitoring and evaluation of school calendar, provision of resource class management committee, rights, duities and responsibilities of resource class management committee, resource class management and provision of regular inspection. This guideline also includes the rights, duties and responsibilities of District Education Officer and assessment centerb for the monitoring and evaluation of special education classes.
According to above policy, guidelines and regulations we can see that there is clear provision of monitoring and evaluation of inclusive education for school management committee, district education office, assessment center and department of education. But the monitoring mechanism for integrated schools is not effective, some how not in practice, the monitoring committee is not active and monitoring is nor proactive towards providing solutions to gaps and surface monitoring were few gaps those come up after the crude discussion during the group work.
- The budget for monitoring and evaluation of inclusive education is not in the priority
- The surface monitoring is in practice
- Lack of corrdination between local committee, school management committee and local stakeholders during the monitoring and evaluation
- Lack of experts in monitoring mechanism
- Lack of implementation of prize for good work and punishments for bad one
- There is lack of authority for recommendation for prize or punishment for monitoring personnel as well as mechanism
- There is no any inclusiveness in management committee for monitoring mechanism
- There is lack of continuation of using conclusion of past monitoring as a base for new monitoring
- Lack of broader perspective in monitoring and evaluation
- There is provision for complaints just as good as formality
The following are the solutions which came after the crude discussion for the development of inclusive education and its monitoring mechanism:
- The monitoring and evaluation must be in priority of budget in inclusive education system as important part of its development
- The monitoring and evaluation should be planned with monitoring indices
- There must be clear provision of rights, duties and responsibilities of monitoing personnel or mechanism
- Joint Monitoring mechanism should be developed among stakeholders, rightholders and authorities
- Capacity building of monitoring personnel or mechanism through traning
- School management committee should be inclusive
- Provision of using conclusion of past monitoring as a base for new monitoring
- The provision of complaint mechanism for as well as effective implementation of prize and punishment in monitoring and evaluation
- The monitoring must be made broader through factors like (Braille education materials, resource teacher, teacher’s training, disable friendly school environment, boarding facility, class room, toilet, gender-physical-mental factors, extra curricular activities etc.)
- The Monitoring body should be developed as follows:
- Centra level monitoring (Policy development level)
- Regional level monitoring (Policy development and implementation level)
- District level monitoring (implementation level)
- School level monitoring (local implementation level)
- Provision of Social Audit/Public hearing is must to make monitoring mechanism socially responsible
- Teacher’s Training
- There is enough trained and skill manpower with non state actors or NGOs for resource teacher’s as well as Braille training.
- The concerned authority of Government of Nepal NCED have been conducting the special package training for resource teachers to teach blind and visually impaired students
- Braille Education Materials
- The NGOs have got modern Braille Press to publish the Braille books of compulsaory subjects of basic level for blind and visually impaired students
- The Government of Nepal, Department of Education has been providing the basic level Braille books of compulsory subjects for blind and visually impaired students in integrated schools all over the country every year
- Monitoring Mechanism
- The NGOs like NAWB, NAB and Forward Looking have been publishing and distributing Braille books are also distributing other Braille Education materials for Blind and visually impaired students
- Nepal Government, Department of Education has been providing NPR 50,000.00 (in words Fifty thousand only) for education materials for children with disability in integrated schools all over th country
CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION
NAWB organized one day gap analysis workshop on inclusive education system for children with visual disability in Nepal which had 3 different thematic papers on Teacher’s Training, Braille education materials and monitoring mechanism of inclusive education followed by the crude discussion and group work had come up with the following recommendations for necessary implementation by concerned government authorities and relevant stakeholders:
- The thematic papers presented in the workshop like teacher’s training, Braille education maeterials and monitoring mechanism for inclusive education for children with blindness and visual impairment had been guidelined by policies and rules of Government of Nepal like Special Education Policy 2060, Education Regulation 2059 and Special Education Policy Guideline 2060. So, the implementation factor of these policies and guideline should be made more efficient and effective by concerned authorities making it more integrated and inclusive.
- There is a need of refreshment training for resource teachers in all integrated schools who have taken the 1 month Braille training more than10 years ago.
- The compulsory and optional subject of basic as well as higher secondary level education must be made available in Braille script for blind and visually impaired students.
- The Braille books must be made available in concerned integrated schools for blind and visually impaired students before education calendar.
- The monitoring and evaluation must be in priority incase of budget as well as program of Department of Education as important activity every year.
- As per no 5.5 joint monitoring mechanism of stakeholder, government suthority and right holders should be developed for monitoring and evaluation in braoder perspective from central to local level.
- For the capacity and skill development of resource teachers, his working ability should be maintained as progress index