Advocacy Interaction with Educational Stakeholders of Kailali District on Issues and Way Forward for Enhancing Access to Education for Girls and Young Women with Disabilities
20 January, 2023
Access Planet Organization in the support of Disability Rights Fund organized half day advocacy program with the education related stakeholders of Kailali district :: Dhangadhi Submetropolitan City and Godawari Municipality on “Issues and Way Forward for Enhancing Access to Education for Girls and Young Women with Disabilities.” This interaction program was organized in Sunlight Hotel, Park Mode Dhangadhi with the presence of 45 participants from across different sectors including municipal education chiefs, Women and Child Development Officer, parents, teachers, principles, female students with disabilities and representatives of organizations of persons with disabilities (OPDs). The program aimed at handing over advocacy manifesto to the local stakeholders which was prepared by the organization compiling issues of the girls and young women with disabilities in education and the solution proposed. The manifesto was prepared on the basis of issue identification workshop conducted in May 2022 and the subsequent school visits and advocacy activities that were carried out during 2022. The interaction program also aimed at sensitizing the stakeholders on the issues that girls and young women with disabilities faced in achieving quality education and access to technology.
Here, Nirmala Joshi, Kailali advocacy committee member presented the advocacy manifesto which was prepared by the organization on the basis of the issue identification workshop conducted in May and the subsequent school visit and advocacy works carried out during 2022. The advocacy manifesto included the current problems and issues that girls and young women with disabilities in Dhangadhi district specifically at Nepalgunj sub-metropolitan city and Khajura Rural Municipality are facing in terms of acquiring quality education and access to assistive technology and was forwarded with the proposed solution at the local level. Then the issues were raised by the disability rights experts, teachers, parents and students which was hindering in enhancing access to education for girls and young women with disabilities. The Chief Education Officer of Dhangadhi Submetropolitan City shared that as children from across the province come to study to Sudurpashchim Inclusive School, it is difficult for metropolitan city to manage scholarship and other supports for all children from across the province.
Lastly, the commitments were gathered from local level representatives including Municipal Education Chief, members of Municipal Education Committee and Women Development Officers from Dhangadhi Submetropolitan City and Godawari Municipality. It is as follows:-
- To make the buildings and structure accessible and disability friendly from now onwards.
- The representative from Godawari Municipality expressed that they have made policy on disability inclusion and allocated budget in this sector and also shared that they have conducted various trainings on doll making and for producing sign language interpreters.
- To divide teachers quota for blind women reserved in Dhangadhi.
- To identify economically poor through household survey.
- To have optional question in grade 8 for those who cannot attend the pictoral question.
- Distribution of sanitary pad in coordination of women teacher in Godawari.
- There is budget allocation for teachers training 2 schools by Dhangadhi where large number of children with disabilities are studying.
- The education Chief of Dhangadhi expressed that he was not fully aware about the needs of visually impaired students and will attempt his best to provide laptop or mobile phone accordingly
- Advocacy manifesto on issues and way forward for enhancing inclusive education and access to technology for girls and young women with disabilities has been handed over to the local stakeholders
- Commitments has been gathered from the local stakeholders specially Chief Education Officers on way forward for promoting inclusive education for girls and young women with disabilities in different municipalities of Kailali district
- Access Planet’s relationship with educational stakeholders, schools and OPDs has been enhanced which will be fruitful for conducting further advocacy