Posted by News Express | 10 August 2015 | 2,834 times
A visually impaired teacher, Mr. Winful Clement has appealed to the government to subsidise education for visually impaired students in the country.
Clement, an Information Communication Technology teacher, made the appeal on Sunday in Lagos in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
Clement, who teaches at Parcelly School for the Blind and Partially Sighted Children, Lagos, said it was very expensive to train a visually impaired student in Nigerian schools.
He said that on the average, a visually impaired student needs equipment like writing frame, typewriter, Braille machine, laptop and an application called Job Acceleration with Speed (JAWS) to learn.
“To train a visually impaired person like myself is very expensive than the able-bodied person.
“The least material we use to educate the visually impaired students is about N5, 000.
“On the average, a student needs more than N500, 000 to purchase the equipment he or she will use in school and also other resources which cannot be quantify.
“The government is paying more attention to conventional schools for able- bodied students than special schools for persons with disabilities.”
Clement stressed the need to pass and sign into law the Disability Bill.
He said that the Disability Bill was the last hope for persons with disability.
“We hope that before the end of the tenure of President Muhammodu Buhari, the bill will be passed and signed into law.
“If the bill is signed, it will make legislation of persons with disability much effective.
“Persons with disability have much to gain in the bill, which include right to education, medical care, social amenities and job opportunity and protect us against discrimination and stigmatization.”
He said many parents cannot afford to send their children to the few schools, which also have limited facilities for training.
The teacher said that many struggle to complete their tertiary education, and also have to struggle for the few job opportunities.
“After spending so much in school, our experience in securing a job is pathetic; most organisation will said there is no vacancy and the few ones available will tell you that you are not competent for the vacancy.
“Public and private organisation are not employing visually impaired graduates, they say we cannot perform, but with today’s technology, can work in the office conveniently with the support of application and ICT.”
Some of the challenges confronting visually impaired students in their day-to-day activities according to Clement are lack of access road, unpaved road; and lack of facilities in public places like banks, hotels, cinema, and public transportation. (NAN)
•Photo of visually impaired students in class courtesy of The Guardian (Nigeria).
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