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Background:

An estimated 1bn people, or 15% of the world’s population, are living with disabilities. Left at the margins of society and facing a world steeped in discrimination, pity and shame, persons with disabilities have limited access to quality education and dignified employment.

Education for persons with disabilities is largely limited to special education schools, which are inadequate and of low quality. According to the government officials, there are 330 special education schools in Islamabad, Punjab, Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhaw provinces. Most of these schools are in urban areas which makes education for persons with disabilities in rural areas a challenge.

For the purpose Special Talent Exchange Program (STEP) proposed a project on Promotion of Inclusive education through the participation of girls with disabilities in Mainstream Schools in two districts Charsadda and Nowshera of Khyber Pakhtunkhaw province.

District Nowshera is situated in the center of KPK Province. It covers an area of about 1700 square kilometers. District Nowshera is divided into 47 administrative units called union councils. According to the census of 1998, its total population was 0.8 million. There is no data reflecting the current population size of District Nowshera, thus a mean growth population rate that is 2.02 percent was used to calculate the expected population in 2011. Using this growth rate it was determined that the approximate population of District Nowshera in 2011 to be 1 million. As far as the population with disability is concerned, according to WHO statistics, in District Nowshera the expected number of persons with disabilities is 100,000 while according to the census of 1998 it is believed to be 2.4% which gives us a figure of 25,000.

District Nowshera has a total number of 939 Institutions. Out of these 824 are located in Urban areas and the remaining 115 are in Rural areas. The total enrolment for the district is 173889. Urban areas have an enrolment of 34796, whereas the Rural area share is 139093.

District Charsadda is located in the west of the Khyber Pakhtunkhaw and is bounded by Malakand District on the north. Mardan district on the east, Nowshera and Peshawar districts on the south and the Mohmand Agency of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas on the west. The district covers an area of 996 square kilometers. The district is administratively subdivided into two tehsils which contained a total of 46 Union Councils.

According to the 1998 population census the district had a population of 1,022,364. Should a 3% annual increase be assumed, the current population of the district may be estimated as 1,457,000 people. In District Nowshera the expected number of persons with disabilities is more than 150,000 while according to the census of 1998 it is believed to be 2.4% which gives us a figure of 35,000.The district is sub-divided in three tehsils of Charsadda, Shabqadar and Tangi, while the total number of union councils is 49. The Charsadda, Shabqadar and Tangi tehsil contain 25, 12 and 12 union councils respectively.

District Charsadda has a total number of 1172 Institutions. Out of these 1058 are located in Urban areas and the remaining 179 are in Rural areas. The total enrolment for the district is 206815. Urban areas have an enrolment of 39251, whereas the Rural area share is 167564.

Yet at present, more than 70% of all girls in Districts of Charsadda and Nowshera complete primary & secondary school and there is no data reflecting the current population size of children  with disabilities in both the districts as well as the present enrollment status of children with disabilities in schools of both districts. The vicinity of 22 schools in Nowshera and Charsadda has more than 6200 girls with disability between the age of 4-12 years old. A small survey by economist was conducted in 2015 and a key recommendation in this survey was that girls with disability should be enrolled in the mainstream schools because the special education centers are not catering full needs of Girls with Disabilities. In a survey Telenor and NRSP has refurbished several schools to meet the accessible requirement of girls and children with disabilities. Out of these 42 schools we have selected 22 schools in our project for the inclusive education of girls with disabilities in district Charsadda and Nowshera.

 

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