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Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Mentally challenged student exploited on school premises : Nepal

It has been found that a teacher of Singha Devi Primary School has been exploiting a mentally challenged girl student for the past two years in the name of Practical Education at Barnalu VDC in Okhaldhunga.

Asmita Thapa, a mentally challenged student at Singha Devi Primary School in Barnalu, Okhaldhunga, cleaning the school toilet on Sunday.


Mentally challenged, Asmita Thapa of Ubu VDC, is a grade I student of the school who cannot speak properly. But the Head teacher Saraswati KC of the school has been exploiting her for the past two years.

Asmita was made to clean toilets, utensils, clean the school and its surroundings among other things even though the government has appointed a staff to look after the mentally challenged students like Asmita in schools.

Locals said that though the government has managed a staff to look after mentally challenged students in schools, the staff is hardly seen at school. They said Asmita became a victim because the staff is not present there. “We hardly see the staff in the school,” said a local guardian.

Asmita has been studying and living in the school for the past two years. School sources said that teachers prepare breakfast in the school and make Asmita clean the utensils.

Head teacher KC said that she asked Asmita to clean the toilets and do other work to provide her ‘practical education’ in the school. “We are directed to do so by the higher authority,” she added.

Parbati Khatri, another teacher said that they did not ask Asmita to do such works. “Asmita herself cleans the toilets, What can we do?” she added.

With integrated education, the school has been operating classes for mentally challenged children for the past ten years. The school runs classes for 10 mentally retarded children in a sources class. But Asmita is the only student who takes such classes in the school.

District Education Officer Lok Bahadur Lopchan said the school should not use mentally challenged students to cleaning toilets and utensils in the name of practical education.

“Such students should not be exploited,” he said, adding, “Investigation will be carried out.” He said that action would be taken against the culprits if they were found guilty.

According to DEO, 80,000 rupees has been allocated to operate the source classes this fiscal.

Source : The Himalayan , 2nd March 2014

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