Sunday, 9 May 2010
Well, it’s a million dollar question!! How do you tell this young blind child that when he grows up he will not be a soldier or a doctor as he wants .At-least not in Malawi and not a child from this rural Phalombe area . You see my mission to Phalombe was to visit the blind and visually impaired children at Nazombe primary school , in Chirunga, Phalombe which is situated near the Malawi Mozambican border .I have found the 15 blind children ; all in school and with a lot of aspirations ; two in particular want to become come a doctor and a soldier respectively. They are both learning at the school in Braille .For medicine I suppose you can go a long way with Braille ; but there is a lot of skills needed that it would be impractical for a blind child in Malawi to continue with the course .for the military , there is a lot of hard exercises and heavy duty work ; which in my opinion a blind child cannot cope up with .But here I am as a mentor , trying to encourage these children not to quit school , so how do I tell them you will never be a doctor or soldier ; that would demolise the children .
I am aware that now we talk of inclusive education; where the environment is modified to suit the blind child’s needs.I have seen this in UK , mainly at one blind school that we visited in Scotland ; and a budget of millions of pounds is needed every year to support such children .Malawi is too poor, so policy makers would not push for the move to put billions of kwacha just for the education of the few blind children .Its a moral dilemma , and I am not sure which side to follow .
Well, the truth is that all children need a decent education(whether blind or not) and that at the moment only 20% of blind children are attending school .
Do you want to suggest what can be the solution?
What do you say?