By Oginyi Nkechinyere
A Rev. Sister of Roman Catholic Church, Rose Oguegbe of Hand Maids of Holy Child Jesus on Wednesday appealed to Ebonyi State government to offer full free Education to blind students of Special School for the Blind, Opefia in Izzi Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.
Rev. Sister Rose, the principal of the school made the appeal during the sixth send-off party of the graduating students of the school.
Having served as the principal since 2002, she said the school enrolment is going down because some parents could not afford to pay school fees and feeding fees for their wards that are visually impaired.
She used the opportunity to thank the school PTA for donating mobility bus for the secondary schools and call for more help for the primary section.
“The school has been doing well through the help of state government and good spirited individuals. The school belongs specially to UBEB who provides for us.
“Working here is not an easy thing because the parent will say we have not finished training those that can see let alone these ones who are blind. So we are just helping them. Many have dropped because they could not pay.
She lamented that state government could not engage those who have graduated from the school and went through the university.
“The problem is that if some of them who have graduated go to the state government to seek for job, they will ask them what can they do if they are given office. Some of them who have graduated have nothing to do, so they came back to us and we engaged them, at the end of the month, we pay them N3000 and after a term we give them N10,000 as stipend.
She said, “Many of them here don’t pay, so we source for money to feed them and take care of the teachers.
“So, if the government can help by making the school full boarding system, that is, to feed them, pay their school fees and carter for all their needs, it will be good.
“Government should help, many of them are in their homes because they can’t afford the school fees. So we are begging the government to make the school free so that those at home can come out.”
She further noted that the students’ performance is better than students who are not impaired.