Ministry of Education, Guyana

Monday, 20 May 2019 10:56

Unit for the Blind launches week of activities to observe Blindness Awareness Month 2019

The Ministry of Education’s Unit for the Blind launched a week of activities today to observe Blindness Awareness Month 2019 which is done in the month of May.

Head of the Unit for the Blind, Mr. Haslyn Richards said that the Unit offers support to students that are in mainstream school. He said that this support is offered so that students that are blind or visually impaired can have quality education and accomplish their dreams. news 20190521 19
Mr. Richards said that parents of children who are either blind or visually impaired should give their child a chance to explore. He said that when children explore, they learn new things.
He advised that children must not be left out of the classroom. He said that they must be encouraged to ask questions, make new friends and participate in activities which would also help to build the child’s self-esteem.
Moreover, he remarked that today’s activity is good to raise awareness. He said that the public must realise that persons that are blind or visually impaired have normal lives and should be treated as normal people.
Mr. Roydon Maynard, who shared the history of the Unit, said that the 144 Albert Street building was commissioned on May 7, 2013. news 20190521 18
Prior to having its own building at Albert Street, Mr. Maynard explained that the Unit was housed at the St. Rose’s High School for 33 years; during which it catered to the needs of a number of students up to the CSEC and GCE Advanced Level.
According to Ms. Ashley Gittens, a teacher in the Unit, today’s event sought to showcase the resources used to educate the blind and visually impaired students. Some of the items displayed came under various categories including craft, braille, technology, home economics and agricultural science.
On Tuesday, there will be a prize-giving ceremony, on Wednesday the Unit will host a career day and on Thursday there will be an internal games day for the teachers and students. To end the week of activities, there will be a trip to Fort Island in the Essequibo River. news 20190521 21
The week of activities was officially declared open by the Principal Education Officer, Ms. Volika Jaikishun who said that the Ministry of Education has grown to have its own unit in Georgetown. news 20190521 16However, she advised that in all the administrative regions the Special Education Needs Unit has centres that can cater to the needs of students that are blind or visually impaired.
She encouraged persons to take advantage of the opportunities that are available and to advise others to do the same since today there are many stories of persons who are blind or visually impaired living satisfactory lives.

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