HUYE – Students with visual impairments at the National University of Rwanda have expressed bitterness over the lack of learning materials since the start of the 2010 academic year.
The students complained of the lack of papers for their Braille printer which they use to prepare their reading materials and lack of enough computers for research purposes, which they say is adversely affecting their studies.
The students, who talked to The New Times, said some of their colleagues had missed their examinations due the absence of the necessary materials.
Jacques Mugisha, a second year student in the School of Journalism and Communication, and a representative of the visually impaired students, said the shortage of their learning resources was a result of neglect or misunderstanding of their case by University authorities.
“Authorities seem not to care about our education, this is a third month of the semester but we have not received a syllabus in Braille to enable us revise for exams,” said Mugisha.
He added that their education is about special needs and therefore needs special attention.
Médard Runyange, the Dean of Students, said the problem was partly due to financial constraints.
“We offered a tender for the materials but the winner was asking for Rwf60million yet we only received Rwf20million from our financiers, we are going to call for new bids,” he said.
“I call upon the Special Needs students not to worry because within two weeks the problem will be solved, we are working with the office of the Vice Rector in charge of Academics to facilitate these students,” he added.
NUR has admitted visually impaired students since 2007, 13 of them are currently enrolled in different faculties at the University.