Parents of children with disabilities from remote villages in Khatlon province are concerned about their children’s education conditions, but authorities say all are covered.
It is very difficult for children with disabilities to get to school due to poor roads in remote, mountainous regions. The lack of specialized classes and teachers is also a big problem. And getting to schools, especially for those who have to use wheelchairs, is even physically difficult.
CABAR.asia says a 10-year-old girl Olambi Naimova and her family live in the mountainous village of Tuto in Khatlon’s Muminobod district. Olambi’s legs have been paralyzed since childhood, and the way from the village to school is one kilometer and it is a very rough road full of mud and stones. She cannot get to school alone, she is helped by older students and sometimes by her mother.
Olambi’s mother Mizhgona Pirhonzoda said that it is not always possible to take Olambi to school on time because of the difficult road from their village to the school.
“Before, the school had no special paths or ramp for wheelchair children, but this problem has been solved, they have already built this thing. The only problem is the bad road to the school itself,” she says.
The 10-year-old Olambi can’t go to school every day because of leg problems, she is worried about not attending classes regularly. But she dreams of becoming a surgeon in the future.
Teachers say she has a better chance than other children with disabilities living in rural areas because her parents and other relatives encourage her desire to learn.
A 35-year-old woman from the Vakhsh Valley of Khatlon, conventionally named Raihon, after divorcing her husband, is alone raising her son, who has not seen since birth. He is 9 years old and has good learning abilities, but finds it difficult to attend school with other children.
According to Raihon, her son has good hearing, if he hears something on TV, he learns quickly, but unfortunately he does not go to the village school because there are no conditions for education of the blind.
She says her son has to learn in a special alphabet with Braille and she wants her son to study, but there is no special class for the blind in their village.
Such children need special textbooks, Raihon said, and there are no teachers to teach them either.
“In order for him to study, we have to take the child to the city of Bokhtar. It’s very far away and we don’t have such an opportunity,” Raihon added.
There is only one class in Bokhtar City School No. 5, which provides special classes for children with disabilities. But the number of students in that class is only 10.
Many parents want to send their children to this school, but because of the long distance it is impossible, representatives of Bokhtar City School No. 5 told CABAR.asia.
CABAR.asia notes that according to official information, Khatlon province has 2,293 school-age children with disabilities.
Mr. Sarfaroz Yaqubov, deputy head of the Khatlon Regional Education Directorate, told CABAR.asia that 317 of those children are home-schooled, while the rest study in schools.
“These are children from 7 to 17 years old. For those who are home-schooled, teachers from educational institutions travel to their homes to teach them. Home schooling is monitored to ensure that it is done well. The rest of the children with disabilities study in schools, and for them, modern or new type schools have installed pathways and ramps,” Yaqubov added.
However, people with disabilities from Bokhtar, who went through home education themselves, say it did not have good results. They believe that home education has many difficulties for children with disabilities.
Ms. Roziya Boboyeva spent three years ensuring that children with disabilities could attend school together with their healthy peers. This helps them better adapt to society, she said.
Ms. Sabohat Hakimzoda, head of the Association of Parents of Children with Disabilities, said they are aware of the difficulties in educating children in different regions of Tajikistan. Problems for this group of students are still seen in remote, hard-to-reach regions of Tajikistan.
“Only in Dushanbe, new schools have ramps and adaptations for children with disabilities, but in other regions there are almost no such facilities. In particular, there should be ramps, special passageways, separate room toilets, but, unfortunately, all this is missing,” she said in an interview with CABAR.asia.
According to data from the Ministry of Health and Social Protection of the Population, Tajikistan has more than 159,000 people with disabilities, 32,000 of whom are children.
Parents of these children say that despite their disabilities, they try to ensure that their children can get an education. According to them, they are used to this difficult situation and rely only on their own strength and the help of relatives.
Source: Asia Plus