Blind World Magazine

Malawi.
Blind children not attending schools.




African News Dimension, South Africa.
Tuesday, March 21, 2006.

By Frank Jomo.




Blantyre (AND) With a total of 22,000 registered blind children, only 4,000 are attending school in Southern African country of Malawi, according to the Malawi Union for the Blind (MUB).


MUB projects assistant responsible for integrated education programme Kheziya Kachimera made the observation in Malawi's southern region district of Chiradzulu where the union is conducting a campaign so that communities with the assistance of the Ministry of Education start an itinerant teaching programme for children with visual impairments.


"Children with visual challenges have a right to access education without barriers, get employment, get information in the most accessible format, freedom of association and participation in all community activities without discrimination," she said.


Kachimera herself blind, asked government to make sure that that the country becomes an inclusive society where persons with disabilities enjoy the same rights as anyone else.


Under the programme, normal children and those with visual impairments, learn in the same classroom, with the latter getting special assistance from experts called itinerant teachers.


But Chiradzulu District Education Manager Christopher Nawunje said most children with visual impairments do not go to school because of lack of Braille materials, equipment and special needs teachers in government schools.



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