PESHAWAR: To ensure equal education opportunities for all children in the province, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) government has approved a scheme to connect 37,000 out of school children with disabilities with community schools in their respective areas.

Under the Tale Education Programme, it was decided that online education would be provided to out of school children with disabilities. The programme is intended to accommodate 37,000 youths. This was decided in a meeting of Elementary Education Foundation (EEF) under the chairmanship of K-P Elementary and Secondary Education Minister Muhammad Atif Khan

The Minister stated that the government would provide laptops and a Rs700 stipend to children with disabilities to enable them to live a normal life and get an education and as well as gain IT related skills online.

Equal opportunity: ‘Free education for students with disabilities’

However, Talking to The Express Tribune EEF Managing Director Zulfikar Ahmad said that EEF objectives are to take all measures it deems necessary for the promotion and improvement of education, as well as the development of human resources in the province. He said that K-P government has conducted a survey of out of school children last year.

He said that in that survey, they also collected data of children with disabilities. He concluded that collectively they added up to 37,000 children with disabilities identified in different areas of the province.

Ahmad said that they first categorised these disabled out of school children and planned to provide them with educational opportunities in accordance with their disabilities. He said that schools for children suffering from blindness and hearing impairment are already available in the province, and this programme’s specific aim was to provide learning opportunities to those who cannot physically go to school.

Inclusive education: Enable the disabled

Moreover, he added that they have decided to provide laptops to those students who are unable to go to schools and connect them with nearby community schools. The director shared that special online courses will be designed specifically for these students. He also shared that those students who have the ability to attend classes in schools would have Rs700 provided to them for transport facilities.

The director informed that initially the project had started in 14 districts of the province but now it has been received approval to extend to all the provinces.

The director further shared that for the first step the teachers would visit the disabled children’s homes to teach them how to use a laptop and how they can connect with their respective local schools.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 4th, 2018.

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