Public Defender Monitors Boarding School for Blind Children
Public Defender Nino Lomjaria, together with members of the Special Preventive Group, monitored Tbilisi’s public school No 202 (boarding school for blind children). The school provides boarding services to children with visual and other accompanying impairments within the framework of the special education program.
The Public Defender met and talked with schoolchildren, teachers and other staff of the school, and examined the school’s physical environment. Many violations have been identified as a result of the visit, which impede the efficient realization of the right to education of children with disabilities.
It is problematic to equip the school with proper educational and support resources, control the quality education, prepare the beneficiaries of the boarding house for independent life and inclusion in the society.
Supply of adequate food to pupils is also a significant challenge. Interviews with the beneficiaries and school personnel showed that the food served during a day is not sufficient and the parents and the staff often have to bring food from home. The menu is not differentiated according to age groups; both the first and twelfth graders get similar, small amount of food.
The public school’s poor infrastructure cannot meet the minimum standard of accessibility and contains threats to life and health of students with special educational needs.
The abovementioned was also proved by the incident that occurred in April, when a 13-year blind student fell from the window of the second floor and received multiple bodily injuries. The case took place after the end of the educational process, during which 4 nurses should have been with the beneficiaries, but none of them were in the room. An investigation is reportedly ongoing into the case.
The Public Defender of Georgia will study the mentioned case within her competence and present the monitoring results to the public in the nearest future.