No textbooks for these blind students

27 Sep

BHUBANESWAR: Even though the State Government claims to be taking all measures to ensure education for all students, those at the Bhima Bhoi School for the Blind continue to study without textbooks.


Under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), while books in all subjects are available for students till Class VI, there are no books at all for students of Class VII even though the course has been changed and seven months have passed since the academic year started.


Likewise, for students of Classes VIII IX, X __ which come under the purview of the Board of Secondary Education __ books only in a few subjects like English and Sanskrit have been provided. As a result, teachers dictate notes to students and provide cassettes in which the chapters are recorded.


“Teachers read out textbooks and students record it. Some take dictation and pass on the notes to others,” said school managing committee president Ashim Kumar Behera. “It is difficult to take down the entire thing manually. When general students cannot study without textbooks, how can we?” questioned Biranchi Sahoo, a student.


Books for blind students are usually printed at the Braille press of Berhampur, the Orissa Association of Blind and the National Institute for the Visually Handicapped (NIVH) at Dehradun.


Sources said though funds are being sanctioned by the SSA to the Women and Child Welfare department, which is incharge of printing books at the Berhampur Braille Press, the process is delayed as there are only manual printers.


On printing of books at the Berhampur Braille Press, Women and Child Welfare department secretary Arti Ahuja said since all the printers in the Press are manual, printing in bulk is delayed. “We have decided to set up digital printing machine in Berhampur Braille Press and funds for the purpose have been earmarked,” she said.


The School and Mass Education department too has decided to set up its own Braille Press. “We are aware of the problem of the blind students and setting up of our own Braille Press is in the pipeline. This can only help solve the book shortage problem,” said School and Mass Education Minister Pratap Jena.



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