A learning institution for the visually impaired population needs more support from the community and government.
Staff at St. John’s Special Education Resource Centre in Port Moresby say they are struggling to facilitate teaching to their students.
The school has been running for more than 20 years now, and is only one of the few centres in the country that provides education for the visually impaired.
The school comprises children and adults and has only four teachers. Staff say more assistance is needed to continue operations in the school.
The special school for the visually impaired has been running for quite a while under limited resources.
Lucas Noglai, the Program Coordinator, says the centre runs three main programs;
(1) Rehabilitation or Community Based Rehabilitation, where awareness is done and visually impaired people are encouraged to join the centre. (2) Education Programs (one of which is a Preschool), and (3) Primary Health Care, however this has not been running effectively because of many constraints.
“One of our biggest problems is transport. We need transport to be able to move around because we know that there are many vision impaired or blind people and children who live in NCD that are not able to access the services we provide,” said the Program Coordinator.
Of the basic necessities needed for a proper classroom, staff say they lack proper equipment and teaching material for the visually impaired.
Noglai says they are in need of proper equipment, such as a braille equipment, white canes and spectacles.
He added that equipment at the centre is outdated and needs maintenance.
Staff told EMTV News that of the entire building, they are only able to use one of the rooms to conduct classes.
“We need to extend, we cannot be small like this. We need a proper facility shelter. There are many that need our help but we cannot help them all because the centre cannot accommodate them all” said Mr Noglai.
The Preschool program, consists of able children and vision impaired children in order to promote the ongoing idea of an inclusive society in children.
The school follows the normal education calendar set up by the Education Department and is also a recipient of the TFF policy.