Visually impaired learners from 12 resource centres across the country will find school life easy following a donation of 153 Braille Note takers and Book Readers, worth K8million, computerised gadgets by a Kenyan based Non-Governmental Organization NGO Kilimanjaro Blind Trust Africa (KBTA).
Trustees with Orbit 20 gadgets
According to KBTA, TechnicalCoordinator, WilliamGichia, the gadgets are called Orbit 20 and uses special software to enable visually impaired learners to read books, take notes and write class work.
"Orbit 20 is a new computerised Braille gadget which is aimed at aiding visually impaired learners to easily access books and do most of their work with no difficult," he said.
Gichia added that, "Using these gadgets learners can download books from the internet using blue tooth connection with their phones or computers."
KBTA has made the donation through its partner's organisation Malawi Union of the Blind (MUB) and the department of Inclusive education under the Ministry of Education.
Project Officer MUB, James Kingston said his organisation is grateful for the support as it will help reduce costs and work load for both specialised teachers and the visually impairedlearners.
"As MUB we are very happy with the support that our friends from Kenya have done, thesegadgets will so much assist in as far as provision and access to learning for the visually impaired is concerned," he said.
Kingston noted that, "The coming of the gadgets means that we will no longer spend time producing big volumes of Braille books and other learningmaterials, which will now all be in soft copy and access by learners electronically."
He explained that the 153 gadgets will only be enough for learners in standard 3-5 in the 12 selected resources centres.
"We wish if other well-wishers can come out to support us with more gadgets so that all the resource centres and all classes should access them," Project Officer stated.
Inclusive Education Officer in the Ministry of Education, Hastings Magombo said that the coming of the device is in line with the Ministry's Inclusive education strategies which prioritise access to quality education for special needs learners.
"These modern devices will highly improve provision and access to education by special needs learners at the same time improve learning participation in the learning process, all this is in line with the goals of our education strategy," he pointed out.
Magombo said that government would look into way of making sure that the Orbit 20 Note Taker and Reading device is available to all visually impaired learners at primary, secondary and tertiary level.
The 12 resource centres which have received the Orbit 20 device are Salima resource, Chilanga, Montfort, Malingunde, Nkhotakota,Ekwendeni, St Marys, St Maria Goleti, Nazombe, Makande, Msiyaluzu and MkopeHill Resource Centres.