They say that blindness must never be a limitation and that the blind must be embraced in all communities, but in northern Uganda the provision of services to the physically disabled remains very poor.
Mr. Ali Muzamil, an S6 science student, says that all the blind students in the region have no hope to pass the sciences and mathematics well because there is no teacher.
Muzamil and the other blind students spoke to Acholi Times from Gulu last week during the opening of a new computer laboratory for Blind Annex Supported by Ms. Sandra Washburn from the USA.
He added that the district Education Officials, especially the Inspector of Schools in the district, are not bothered about the blind and other disabled children and overlook their needs when inspecting schools.
“Our classes must be inspected so that they can be able to come up with the solution because we are doing badly in sciences, as I talk now we don’t have a Maths teacher who is trained in that field to assist us,’’ Mazamil said.
Meanwhile Monica Akello, a S5 Art student, told Acholi Times that they also lack teachers for the arts, although not as much as the sciences.
Akello revealed that they have two teachers who are teaching Art subjects but the teachers are overworked because they try and cover all the lessons in the syllabus.
“We are all in the same problem when it come to the issue of teachers because we have few teachers in Art, we are covering very little,” she said.
The representative from Uganda National Association of the Blind, Ms. Frances Candiru, said that blind students need quality education like any other children out there because they have only lost their sight and not their brains. This means that they are normally academically active like abled students.
Ms Candiru noted that the world is technologically developing at a very fast pace, and the blind must not be left behind.
“We are in the World of dot.com and everything at work needs a computer, where will the blind people who have gone to school go?” She asked.
Ms Candiru revealed that there are many blind students who have completed their study and have developed much specialized skills, but the government and other companies will not give them employment opportunities because of their disability.
The District Education Officer (DEO) Rev. Vincent Ochieng agreed that Uganda still has a huge challenge to meet when dealing with blind children in education compared to other countries because she is not giving the disable in school enough attention.
Rev Ochieng said that the government of Uganda and donors have to join hands in providing quality education for the blind, especially in Eastern and Northern Uganda that have been ravaged by war.
“In 2007 we had a trip to USA where we visited some Primary Schools for the blind, when I came back I asked myself when such schools will be in Uganda?” He said.
Rev Ochieng revealed that there are some people in Uganda who tend to victimize the blind due to the vulnerability. He urged people to have good faith when dealing with the disabled in the community.
The blind school in Acholi sub region was started in 1992 by the Church of Uganda in Gulu High School with only three (3) students Grace Akello, Elisabeth Aboo and Christine Akello.
So far the school has 16 students 15 boys and 1 girl in S5, all pursuing art subjects.
Gulu High is the only secondary school in Northern Uganda that caters for both blind and abled students. By A Web design Company
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