This resource hub is an initiative of two national actors of social change. CIL Kathmandu and Kadambari Memorial College as civil society organization and social work academic institution have joint hands to complement each other in the mission of contributing to a broader and deeper understanding that a child should not be excluded from the right of education due to disability. In order to contribute to this vision, both of the partners are working jointly is a project called “Promoting Access to Education: Enhancing Knowledge, Developing Skills, Raising Sensitivity and Design Action for Children with Disability “in financial support from Australian Development Program (DAP). To disseminate the information to larger population on it aims to empower parents, child rights workers, child protection workers, school educators, child clubs, government officers, children and people with disability, social workers or anyone interested or responsible in children’s rights to education and inclusive education. It aspires provide a platform to access the information and resources on disability, inclusive education with focus to children with disability and disability promoting school to create a positive schools, teachers and community for equal and dignified education of children with disability in their community and family.
CIL- Kathmandu (Center for Independent Living of Persons with Disabilities, Kathmandu) is a non-profit, on-political, self-help organization run by and for persons with disabilities. It is the first disabled persons ‘organization established to promote and protect the rights of people with disabilities through the concept of ‘Independent Living’ in Nepal. The four key areas that the organization work in are: Advocacy, Services, Awareness, Assistive Services, Devices & Technology. CIL-Kathmandu hosts social work internships of various colleges of Kathmandu to provide practice-based learning opportunity to the future professionals in disability sector. In this project, it is the primary grant applicant.
Kadambari Memorial College (KMC), school of social work is its higher educational initiative to prepare Social Workers as workforce in human service sector from Bachelor of Social Work program. It is an initiative of Sutra center for development research and education is a nonprofit organization established in 2005 to develop human resources and conduct research and training to build the human capitals in promotion and practice of equitable and just society in Nepal.
Inclusive Education (IE) refers to such an education system where all children, no matter who they are, despite any physical and mental challenges can learn together in the same school as well has equal opportunity for the progress.
Nepal has undergone substantial political changes over the last three decades for democratic governance. In this run, the new Constitution 2017(2016) institutionalizes inclusive and participatory democracy. Three levels of government, federal, provincial and local, have replaced the unitary system of government, and provided powers to lower levels of government. The responsibility to deliver child protection and educational services are now the sole responsibility of local governments. However, governance in Nepal still faces many barriers, of resources, lack of understanding of inclusiveness and technical capacity, poor information systems, remoteness of some communities and not least inequalities deeply rooted in the country’s social structures and practice of caste, ethnicity, gender and disability. Nonetheless, there is a much greater degree of optimism for inclusive participatory development in the coming years with more inclusive policies and blue print of Sustainable Development Goals. The population of people with disability in 2011 census is 5,13, 321 in Nepal.
The population of children with disability was 169396. The flash report 2017/18 presents 77705 of children are with disability are attending schools. This data points toward 55% of children with disability still been excluded from going to school. Every individual child should have an equal opportunity for inclusive educational progress. Many people doubt children who had developmental disability or hard of hearing should treated through special education system declaring them as special need children. There is now doubt inclusive education is pre-requisite for the accomplishment of all other rights. Here is huge misunderstanding about disability, barriers those children with disability counters at neighborhood school. Nepal disability is still seen as taboo, subject of social stigma, treated poorly and severely faces annoyed, bullied and discriminated at schools. Direct and indirect discrimination against children with disabilities in Nepal is actively present (Include girls children status). From government side also low investments have been carried on for promoting educational rights of children with disabilities. Disability is not a priority of the government and persons with disabilities are still often seen as a burden of society and worthless citizens. The awareness level and investment towards disability of the general population and family members also in inclusive education is extremely low, which is a major barrier to the inclusion of children and persons with disabilities in all aspects of life. Since they are seen as incapable of becoming educated and functioning members of family and society, persons with disabilities are often forgotten and kept silent.
In more than decade long direct work of CIL Kathmandu in disability, there had been significant number of cases where the organization had to lobby or force the school authority for admission of children with physical disability. Sometimes the organization has been successful and sometime not. In this process, the organization has recognized the importance of changing perception of people, be it the school principal, local level representative or parents of the child. Kadambari Memorial College, School of Social Work has also put its focus on reducing inequalities to quality education as its curricular and field action programs and dedicated to develop social workers promoting and designing inclusiveness in their practice The online resource hub is integrated with Kadambari Memorial College website and also linked by the CIL Kathmandu website to continue it as the responsibility of both partners after the completion of the project in December 2021. This online resource hub is further integrated as resource shelves in Kadambari Memorial College’s library where hard copies are available for anyone interested in this issue.