TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, July 27 (PIA)-When learning facilities of the differently abled are scarce, persons with disabilities (PWDs) whose rights, advocates are pushing, are pleading the government to put up a dormitory for them to stay while studying in city schools that cater to their learning needs.
Leading the pleading and giving voice to the deaf-mute and the mobility challenged PWDs is Tagbilaran City Central school principal Rizalina Peligro.
Waving the placard to catch attention to this call for action, Peligro, along with Senior High School principal Julius Canda, who administer the only if not one of the very few schools in Bohol that offer senior a high school for the hearing and speech impaired, said that they have students from all over the island who are forced to rent in the city so they can attend their classes.
Peligro said, for the needed special attention and care for these physically challenged students, a common facility that would allow the deaf mute to interact with persons with the same predicament like theirs, would already mean so much, in a society that commits to expand PWDs rights.
While some of their students are not necessarily financially capable, PDWs rights advocates support the move, considering that allowing these students to live out of the school compound to their towns every single class day is too much hassle. And it may be risky.
As if the inconvenience of communicating to the transport sector workers through sign language is not enough, the same learners have to haggle for the mandatory 20% discount, which the society has not been as keenly giving in.
For lack of such facility, out of pity, Peligro said faculty members City Central School are forced to adopt their students in their homes, if only to assure them that they are covered and to stop them from dropping out.
And while providing a government operated facility as possible boarding houses for PWDs needing special care, is possibly a novel project for the government, many believe that providing such a facility would attract more and more PWDs to come out and get properly educated for a better chance at being productive in life.
According to Bohol Provincial Disability Affairs Office Administrative Officer Jowel Robin, about 14,000 PWDs are already on their database, and many of these are not as keen in learning because of the discomfort of traveling.
Special Education (SPED) schools, while there are established facilities in some towns, also echo the same concern for the discomfort of travel of PWDs.
After they graduate in the basic elementary, many would just opt to stop, for with only few secondary schools offering SPED classes, distance is always a consideration.
Complaints emanating from PWDs as regards the mandated discount in public transport still ring high and, at an already disadvantaged position, a PWD almost always, would just skip the trouble of pressing for their rights, accessibility monitoring team members remarked.
Of the disadvantages that PWDs are forced to accept, and with slow progress in getting them their rights and privileges as the law provides, setting up the facility would be a great move to allow PWDs a better chance to get into the mainstreams. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)