Special education institutions to be upgraded in KP

ISLAMABAD: Special education institutions would be upgraded to higher secondary level in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) in order to enable special children to get higher education, who could not continue their education due to non-existence of higher education institutes in the province.

The KP government has established 39 special education institutions in the province to educate, rehabilitate and train deaf and dumb, visually impaired, physically handicapped and mentally retarded children from nursery to middle and secondary level.

However, there is not even a single higher secondary school in the whole province for special children due to which these kids could not pursue their higher education.

According to the documents available with Pakistan Today, out of the 39 schools, three schools including two for deaf and one for physically handicapped children will be upgraded to secondary level while the rest will be upgraded to middle or primary levels.

In this regard, Zakat, Usher, Social Welfare, Special Education & Women Empowerment Department of KP proposed upgradation of the special schools/institutions with total financial impact of Rs 38.04 million with effect from July 1, 2018.

In its letter to the KP Finance Department on March 28, 2018, it is proposed that it would be step towards mainstreaming and a major contribution of the government towards improving the capability of the children with disabilities through for getting higher education in the province.

The documents showed that 2549 students are enrolled in these schools while a large number of the students is registered with Social Welfare department and are on waiting list to get admission in the special education institutions.

It also proposed upgradation of schools including Government School for Deaf & Dumb Children (male), Peshawar, Government School for Blind Children (male) Peshawar, Government School for Visually Handicapped (blind) Children, Charsadda, Government School for Deaf & Dumb Children, Kohat, Government School for Deaf & dumb Children (male) Makan Bagh, Saidu Sharif, Swat.

Besides, it was proposed to upgrade up to secondary level the Special Education Centre for Hearing Impaired (deaf) Children, Special Education Complex, Mardan, Special Education Centre, Bannu, Special Education Centre Dera Ismail Khan (Blind School) and Special Education Centre Abbottabad (school for blinds).

In addition, it was proposed to upgrade institutes to middle level such as Centre for Visually Impaired (blind) Children. Special Education Complex, Hayatabad, Peshwar, Government School for Deaf & Dumb Children, Haripur; Center for MR & PH children Haripur, Center for MR & PH Children Mansehra and School for Deaf & Dumb children, Malakand.

According to the documents, the construction of buildings has been completed in most of the above districts however these schools are running without being upgraded to middle or secondary levels. The required accommodation is sufficient for up-gradation of proposed one secondary school to higher secondary school, 9 schools up to secondary level and 5 schools up to middle level as enumerated above. However creation of 92 news posts in addition to the existing ones will be required. Total annual financial implication of the proposed up-gradation would be Rs 38.04 million.

Source: Special education institutions to be upgraded in KP | Pakistan Today

Jimmy Kilpatrick, a national recognized professional special education advocate since 1994.

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