* We appreciate the role being played by Montfort Resource Centre for the Blind
* In offering inclusive education to students with special needs
* We knocked on so many doors for help but FD Communications were quick to respond
In response to challenges being faced by Montfort Resource Centre for the Blind in Chiradzulu, the country’s leading advertising agency, FD Communications Limited has donated K1 million towards the institution’s food and learning materials.
Presenting the donation, FD’s Administration Manager, Zalamu Sichinga said the company was touched after learning of the plight of students at the institution following an appeal from the Montfort IV Alumni Association.
“At FD, we appreciate the role being played by Montfort Resource Centre for the Blind in offering inclusive education to students with special needs,” she said.
“We feel that it is our duty to support government’s and other partners’ efforts to fully implement the National Special Needs Education Policy Guidelines, that is regulating provision of education to learners with special needs.”
The National Special Needs Education Policy Guidelines (NSNEPG) promotes equity and inclusive education for all.
Dalitso Gumbayera, vice-chairperson for Montfort IV Alumni Association applauded FD Communications for partnering with the grouping in helping the students with special needs.
He said: “We knocked on so many doors for help but FD Communications were quick to respond.
“While today is just a symbolic presentation, FD’s support dates back to the previous school calendar.”
Receiving the donation, the institution’s head teacher, Clement Kaleso thanked FD Communications for coming to alleviate the challenges, saying they receive a grant from the government each year but it is inadequate.
“We were on the verge of postponing opening of this term due to unavailability of resources but the support from FD inspired us to carry on,” Kaleso said.
While bemoaning lack of equipment as a major challenge deterring promotion of inclusive education, Kaleso said the country has a potential to improve the situation and change the narrative for the plight of students with special need.
For his part head boy of the school, Timothy Kachuma sees the donation as a catalyst of improved education among the students with special needs.
“We appreciate this assistance which will go a long way to motivate us to do more,” he said. “We will not worry about food hence concentration will go towards learning and studying.”
Montfort Resource Centre for the Blind, founded in 1968 by FIC Brothers (Brothers of the Immaculate Conception), caters for over 900 students — including 52 boarders — who have different mental, physical and visual challenges.
It’s Mission for learners with visual impairments to access quality education to help them become productive and responsible citizens.
According to the Tingathe.org website, the number of learners has been increasing up to 60 over the years, and most of them have been selected to go to secondary schools.
Education activities offered include reading and writing the braille and large print; computation; orientation; mobility and daily living activities as well as offering HIV/Aids services such as advocacy and awareness.
Equipment they use and need include Perkins Brailler; handframe and styluses abacus; embosser papers; Braille papers; Cubarithom boards; cubes; magnifiers and computers
All services are offered free of charge for children below the age of 16, who have been certified blind or severe low vision.