The HEAD Blind School
The Target Group
The beneficiaries of the HEAD Blind School are blind or partially sighted children in Humla district. Their parents and family members and the community at large are the indirect target group of the project.
The HEAD Blind School
On May 14, 2012, Head Nepal has set up a hostel in Simikot for the blind and partially sighted children. The HEAD Nepal Blind School is a residential programme to equip blind and partially sighted children with the necessary tools for successful integration in a mainstream school. For young children the programme is a preparation for mainstream education. For children who are already in school it is a supplementary course to provide them with effective methods for their successful studies. Currently two totally blind and 18 partially sighted children from different VDCs are being trained in the center. In the first year of the program, totle 12 children were enrolled and in 2013 8 other more children have been registered.
The curriculum is focused on the following areas:
- Braille literacy in different languages
- Mobility training: independent movement with the use of the white cane
- Daily living skills such as personal hygiene and some housework
- Computer literacy with the use of screen reading software
- Self confidence and communication training to accept the disability and respond to challenges and discrimination.
After one to two years of intensive training, students will be successfully integrated into the regular mainstream schools using knowledge and methods they acquired during the programme at HEAD Nepal Blind School. However they will be staying at the center until their grade 10.
Compared to the first experience of a mobile blind school in 2011, a residential programme is more effective for the following reasons:
- the teacher can concentrate on preparation and implementation of classes, as he doesn't have to travel several hours per day anymore to visit the villages
- classes will take place on a daily basis
- the residential setting ensures continued practice, e.g. of daily living skills, even outside the classroom
- the regular contact with other visually impaired children shows the students that they are not alone with their problems and they can build their confidence together.
- integration of older children in nearby schools can be easily supported.