Braille Cup vital for for children with visual impairments-Education Minister Msaka
Maravi Post Reporter
LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-Minister of Education, Science and Technology, Bright Msaka this lauded the National Reading Program’s (NRP) Braille Cup, saying its vital for promoting education among visual impaired children.
Msaka was speaking during the finals of the 2018 Braille Cup that saw 48 learners with visual impairments participating.
“My ministry’s agenda is to ensure that education leaves no child behind and that we develop teaching systems and methodologies depending upon the special needs of every child,” said Msaka.
The minister expressed happiness that the learners could read efficiently and proficiently in braille, saying this demonstrates that the students would be able to take their learning to greater heights.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is supporting the government of Malawi in implementing the Braille Cup, an initiative which enables learners with visual impairments to showcase their reading skills and attend school.
Msaka asked USAID and other relevant stakeholders to keep on supporting the Braille Cup and assured them of his ministry’s continued cooperation.
Since 2015, with USAID support, NRP has printed and distributed about 3,000 braille and 16,000 large-print standard 1 textbooks to schools across the country.
The agency’s Acting Mission Director for Malawi Peter Trenchard disclosed that the support would continue in order to bring quality inclusive education to all children in Malawi.
“Creating opportunities for children with visual impairments to excel academically and participate in competitions such as the Braille Cup is important. It shows that Malawi is committed to teaching all of its children,” he said.
Trenchard noted that the Braille Cup is the only national braille literacy competition that is specifically designed to challenge and reward students who are blind for their study of braille.
“Being fluent in braille is essential to these students future academic and employment success,” he added.
The 2018 NRP Braille Cup finals were held at Lilongwe LEA School with learners with visual impairments demonstrating their competency in reading comprehension, fluency, spelling, accuracy of writing and proof reading.
The competing zones including Lilongwe, Blantyre and Mangochi.
The winners went away with various material prizes including trophies, school bags and among others.
According to Airtel’s Corporate Communications & CSR Manager Norah Chavula-Chirwa, the smartphone network provider is a proud partner of the Ministry of education and it’s National Reading Programme, and continues to believe in the platform that the Braille Cup offers primary school students to showcase their reading talent and sharpen their skills.
The Braille Cup is a national academic competition for students with visual impairment in Malawi and is part of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology’s National Reading Program (NRP)’s approach to improve reading instructions among all learners including those with disabilities.
Airtel Malawi has been sponsoring the competition since 2015 to the total value of MK15.5 million.