CLASSROOMS and learning facilities in schools in Papua New Guinea are not ideally designed for children with disability, a man who knows all about it says.
Rex Larry, an occupant of the Morobe Disability Home, said children with disability were not benefitting from the government’s free education policy because most of them remained at home due to facilities in schools being inaccessible.
“Most of them are supposed to be in school but are now on the street looking for opportunities to help themselves,” Larry said.
“This academic year will end with most of the children with disability not being able to be educated formally.”
Larry said there were no wheelchair paths to classrooms, no sign language teachers for the hearing impaired students and those children with speaking problems could not communicate with their peers. “Children with disability are caught with these barriers when trying to access the government’s free education policy.
“When children with disability are not educated, they contribute to the increasing illiteracy statistics and a good number of illiterate children with disability are on streets,” Larry said.
The Australian government, under its Strongim Pipol Strongim Nesen (SPSN) project, has partnered with the board of disabled persons, the National Assembly of Persons with Disability and the National Orthotic and Prosthetic Services and initiated the Assistive Devices Delivery (ADD)
Under ADD, it has delivered assistive devices to people living with disability in Bulolo, Erap and Markham in Morobe.
It has piloted the project in three centres of Morobe and would reach out to other centres next year.
Papua New Guinea education news services
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