Brailles to aid students access digital content

Friday August 21 2020

students

Statistics from the Ministry of Education indicate that there are over 2700 Visually impaired students in nursery, primary, secondary, Technical schools, and tertiary schools across the country. PHOTO | Cyril NDEGEYA  

ARAFAT MUGABO
By ARAFAT MUGABO
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The government has donated braille textbooks and recorders to aid visually impaired students access digital content.

This follows a report by Rwanda Today which showed that children with special needs had limited access to e-learning resources as schools remain closed.

A mini-survey by Rwanda Today found that since June about 500 visually impaired students in primary, secondary, and Technical Vocational Training schools have received braille pamphlets, recorders and audiobooks to help them in the learning while at home.

Statistics from the Ministry of Education indicate that there are over 2,700 Visually impaired students in nursery, primary, secondary, Technical schools and tertiary schools across the country.

According to the executive secretary of the National Council for People with Disabilities (NCPD) Emmanuel Ndayisaba, access to TV and online services is limited, locking out many children with special needs especially those from marginalized and remote areas of the country.

“I was surprised to see the ministry and other partners immediately resolving the issue of visually impaired students one month after Rwanda Today published an article titled “: Learners with special needs in Rwanda face hurdles in accessing digital content:” said Mr Ndayisaba.

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“Not all of them have acquired the braille pamphlets, and recorders to record and revise later but at least those from the marginalized families majority have received them,” said Ndayisaba.

He said that online education platforms are still in favor of those in urban areas and regions with electricity and computers. For families that cannot afford gadgets, power, and data bundles it remains a nightmare for learners with disabilities to follow.

"It is good news for students who have been finding it hard to follow classes from TV, online and radios but with the provision of braille books and other materials they will catch up with others as they stay in the lockdown," added Mr Ndayisaba.

However, as the special needs students get tools to support them in the home learning as schools remain closed, teachers say when schools resume for special needs students it will be as starting from zero.

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