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Going to School a Task Faced By Blind Students Everyday

Editor's Note: The following article is reprinted from the Kuwait News Agency and is dated October 3, 2004.

Kuwait, (KUNA)--To some children, getting to the classroom every morning is a task in itself, and for students enrolled in the Al-Noor School for Blind Boys that task is even harder.

Speaking to Kuwait News Agency (KUNA), Salah, a student at the school, said that preparing for school is more a psychological matter than a physical one, adding that he did not buy stationery as his siblings did but got a school bag he later learned was blue in colour.

He added that his only concern was for his school bag to be lightweight and big enough to hold the four-kilogram typewriter he has to carry with him.

As for Mohammed, another student at the school, he called for installing permanent typewriters at the school to avoid damage to the equipment that usually happens when students fall or suffer accidents, noting that it costs KD 200 to replace a typewriter.

The school's director, Hussain Kathim Mohammed, said that "there are 53 students in the school; 30 in elementary and 23 in middle school, taught by 45 blind teachers and two others."

He explained that the reason why there is such a high number of teachers in the school is that it is difficult for even the most highly educated blind to land a government job, saying that all teachers undergo special training before becoming teachers.

The director went on to say that the school seeks to install audio computer programs in science laboratories linked to the internet so as to allow students larger access to information and knowledge. He also said that the school receives a lot of financial contributions from parents and philanthropists, calling upon the Ministry of Education to provide typewriters for the students in the school, as well as buses for transportation.

Al-Noor School was established in 1955 and was awarded the Certificate of Distinction among special needs schools. It teaches the curriculum of the Ministry of Education.