Blind World Magazine

Czech Republic.
Chechnya in need of special schools for children with hearing, speech and sight impairments.

October 24, 2005.
Prague Watchdog, Czech Republic.

GROZNY, Chechnya - Only five percent of children in Chechnya with hearing, speech and sight impairments are able to get an education, stated Pola Viskhanova, aide to chairman of the Commission for Social Policy of the State Council of the Chechen Republic.

According to her, the problem is due to the fact that the country has no special educational facilities. Only 75 children out of nearly 1500 deaf and the visually impaired are in school.

Sixteen boarding schools functioned in Chechnya before the war. "But now the majority of these buildings are either occupied by the military or were ruined during the course of two military campaigns," said Viskhanova.

In a recent letter to Russian Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev and Defense Minister Sergey Ivanov, the Commission asked that these buildings be vacated. "But as yet this matter has not been resolved," she added.

In addition, two boarding schools, one for children with developmental difficulties and one for the visually impaired were included in this year's federal reconstruction program for Chechnya. "However, the repair of these schools has not been started yet," Viskhanova said regretfully.

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