The Mobile Blind School
The HEAD Mobile School 2016:
The project, HEAD Mobile Blind School was conducted for a year in the year 2011. and We again are running the school from March 2016 throughout the 11 VDCs of the lower part of Humla where we have identified altogether 54 children with visual and physical impairment and they are currently being trained in different 6 units of the Mobile School.
Among the 54 children with disabilities in the mobile school, 41 are children with physical/mobility disability and most of them are not going to school because of their disability and difficult geographical condition. Therefore we collaborating with District Education Office Humla will start a physically accessable residential educational center in Simikot just next to the Head Vision Home. At least 20 children with physical disability will be enrolled at the center this year.
The Mobile Blind School 2011:
The Target Group
The beneficiaries of the Mobile 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.
In order to reach visually impaired children in remote and inaccessible villages and to prepare them for main stream education, HEAD Nepal has started a Mobile Blind School. Because ?if the child cannot go to school, THE SCHOOL SHOULD GO TO THE CHILD? (N. Krishna Swamy, Vidya Briksah India). This school is providing Braille literacy, confidence/communication, mobility/orientation, motor skills and daily living skills training by directly going to the child?s house in the villages.
Humla has 27 Village Development Committees (VDCs). The mobile blind school is working in 8 VDCs, especially in the upper part of Humla. In those 8 VDCs, HEAD Nepal has identified 2 blind and 23 partially sighted children aged 3 to 15 years. Most of the older children attend regular schools, but they face big difficulties, such as
- to read text on the blackboard
- to use textbooks
- to integrate with their sighted peers
The totally blind teenagers do not go to school due to their disability (for case studies see appendix).
The teacher travels to the villages on foot or on horse back. If necessary, a horse is used to carry the materials which are required to conduct classes in the community such as Braille kids (slate, stylus, etc).
Mobile Blind School units have been established in five villages serving 8 VDCs of Humla. It is the responsibility of the parents to take their children to these units for weekly classes. The mobile blind school ensures regular training. Currently, between four and eight students participate in the different units. Classes take place once a week for four hours, the rest of the week the parents should practice with the children what they learned during classes. Therefore it is important to involve the parents of the visually impaired children and other family members as much as possible in the training process.
The community based training of the mobile blind school will be continuing for one year in 5 units for 8 Village Development Committees. Then the children will be integrated into the main stream education in regular schools. Head Nepal will try to set up a home facilities/residential center for these children in Simikot. The service of the mobile blind school will then take care of visually impaired children in other VDCs in Humla.
Anja, while she was doing her internship project in Head Nepal in August and September 2011, she prepared a short radio play "audio news letter" on Mobile Blind School which can be listened below: