Saturday, March 08, 2008

Visually impaired boy dreams to teach kids with eyesight

SAVE for being visually impaired and an orphan, John Bosco Walugembe has joined the realm of top brains in the country. He got 4AABC from Iganga SS and attributes his success to the girls in his school who lent him a hand.

The school has just started teaching boys; originally being a single-sex school. There were only five boys in his class, he says.

"These girls would help me with discussions. The teachers were also very helpful," Walugembe adds.

Iganga SS and St. Francis Madera in Soroti are some of the schools in the country equipped to handle visually impaired students. Walugembe has his colleague Akura Suubi, who is also visually impaired, but got 23 points.

Walugembe, born in a family of three children, is the only blind one. But he did not find it easy to study with the sighted colleagues in class. Using his braille machine, he says, the girls would always complain of the noise it made.

"I also had a 'talking watch' which would make constant verbal alerts, which would disturb the class. Thank God, they grew to like me," he says.

It is surprising that Walugembe was also doing Literature, a subject that involves reading many texts. "I used to get people to read the novels and plays for me. I was also using recorded work on tapes," he explains.

He is planning to do Education at Makerere University. "I want to teach even the sighted people. If they can teach us, we can also do the same for them," the confident and jolly academic giant said.
Walugembe got aggregate 15 in eight at O' Level. He appeals to the Ministry of Education to provide more verbally-recorded literature to schools that cater for the visually-impaired.
Walugembe, who has started computer lessons, says he is committed to going beyond getting a first degree.

Advising the disabled learners, Walugembe says: "It is time we all went to school. The disabled also have a right to education. Just go conquer it, as this Government still supports us."
He appealed for well-wishers to get him a laptop, to ease his studying at the university.


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