Polio-stricken teacher struggles to get acceptedChitwan Secondary School where Durga Bomjan is to teach is noted as a well-to-do establishment by public school’s standards but does not have a disabled-friendly environment.
Durga Bomjan passed the Basic Level Teacher examination conducted by the Teachers Service Commission and received his appointment letter on November 17.
Eighteen days since he received the letter to teach at Chitwan Secondary School, Bomjan has not taught a single class.
The reason behind this, Bomjan says is his disability. Both of his legs are paralysed as a result of polio and he is wheelchair-bound.
“I went to the school with my appointment letter, but the school principal doubted my ability,” the 31-year-old said. “He told me that the school gets flooded during monsoon and was unsure if I would be able to come to school regularly.”
Despite the principal’s reservation, Bomjan has been going to school daily, only he is not teaching any class. He says the school administration has not assigned him any class, nor has it allowed him to register his
After Bomjan filed a complaint with the City Education Department about this issue a week ago, he was told to register his attendance at the school from Sunday. But the school again barred him from registering his attendance. Once again, Bomjan visited the department with his complaint on Wednesday.
“They (the department officials) say the issue will be solved, but I don’t know when,” said Bomjan.
Bomjan was born into a middle-class family in Parsa. He was diagnosed with polio when he was nine, after which his parents migrated to Bharatpur for his treatment. His mother works as office help at Narayani Secondary School where Bomjan completed his secondary education before pursuing intermediate level studies majoring in English literature.
When his father passed away in 2014, Bomjan stopped his formal education. He was pursuing his B.Ed degree at the time.
“I wanted to pursue English in bachelor’s as well but couldn’t because the subject was taught on the top floor of the college building and I couldn’t climb up the stairs,” he said.
The same issue that kept him from studying the subject of his choice
at college is now keeping him from pursuing his career as a teacher.
Mukti Lamichhane, the school principal, said that he doesn’t suspect Bomjan’s ability to teach.
“It’s just that our school building is three-storey high. How would Bomjan climb up the stairs?” he said.
Sitaram Koirala, chair of Bharat Sub-metropolis’s Education Administration Department, said the school must register his name.
“The school must let him,” said Koirala.
Bomjan said that he could navigate the school if there were a few changes to the school’s infrastructure.
“I can teach,” he said. “But it’s sad that I’m being rejected just because I am wheelchair-bound.”