Students with visual impairment call for government support

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Students of Okuapeman Senior High School (SHS) at Akropong-Akuapem in the Eastern Region

Akropong-Akuapem (E/R), Aug. 17, GNA – Students of Okuapeman Senior High School (SHS) at Akropong-Akuapem in the Eastern Region with visual impairment have called on government to support their education.

They explained that, they were at a disadvantage in terms of the supply of study materials for secondary schools.

The students made the appeal during the celebration of International Youth Day at Akropong-Akuapem organized by the International Child Development Programme and sponsored by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs through Plan International, Ghana.

The theme for the celebration was: “transforming education; creating an inclusive and accessible system for all youth”.

Making reference to the theme, Mr Asante Osei Opare, one of the students with visual impairment, expressed concern about government’s neglect of students with vision impairment in the country.

He complained about the poor roads in the school which made the environment not friendly to them.

Mr Opare said unlike the normal students, the visual impaired students have no text books to aid their studies.

Miss Anita Osei, the Acting Braille Library Prefect of Okuapeman SHS, said students with vision impairment study and write their examinations with computers or laptops.

She said they use a software called Jaws and MVDA which reads out what they want to learn to their hearing.

Miss Osei complained that the computers were few and not all the students could afford a laptop so they rely on the braille materials which are not sufficient for them.

Mr Obuobi Atiemo Akufu, the Headmaster of the Okuapeman SHS, said the school started the inclusive system of education in 2009.

He said currently, the school has a total population of 100 students with visual impairment ranging from SHS one to three.

He said the braille materials for learning is limited, bulky to handle and expensive.

Mr Akufu appealed to non governmental organizations to help provide sufficient computers for the students to support their studies.

He said, currently, the visual impaired students are not taught Mathematics and Science due to the complexities involved and the absence of the needed logistics to aid in teaching the subjects.

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