Bangladesh government has taken an initiative to build an autistic academy at a cost of Taka 422.34 crore to include autistic children in the main stream of the country’s education system, reports Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha news agency.
“The specialised academy will be constructed under the National Academy for Autism and Neuro Developmental Disabilities to bring autistic children under the main stream of the country’s education system,” said a source of the planning ministry.
The secondary and higher secondary education department will implement the project which is expected to be completed by December 31 in 2023, said Project Director Professor Dr Mohammad Didarul Alam.
Alam said the academy will have an administrative academic building, an academic auditorium, gymnasium and swimming pool, staff quarters and two hostels for boys and girls having accommodation facility for 100 children each.
Initially the academy will start its activities in a hired building in the capital within the next two-month and the public works ministry has already given permission in this regard, said the project director.
He also said the academy will provide scholarships, various trainings, residential facilities as well as ICT facilities to children having Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Neuro-developmental Disabilities (NDD) for their self-employment.
As part of the programme, 400 master trainers have been developed as ‘Training of Trainers (TOT)’ for the academy.
Besides, he said the government has selected eight educational institutions in eight divisions under a pilot project for implementation of the initiatives of Saima Wazed Hossain Putul, chairperson of Bangladesh National Advisory Committee for Autism and Neuro-developmental Disorders, who took steps to bring the autistic children in mainstream education system.
At present, 40 educational institutions have been brought under this programme, he added.