Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Another Worthy Example....?

Is it possible that, so closely on the heels of my recent entry about inclusive education in Liberia, a school in Tanzania has followed suit?  And, if so, how amazeballs is that??!!  And even more amazeballs, if that is at all possible, is this quote from a disabled student at that school: disability is not inability.  I think I may have to bite that for Toa Nafasi's promotional materials.  Four very powerful words indeed.

From The Tanzania Daily News, a recent article reports the following regarding a government secondary school at which Mheshimiwa Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, the first president of Tanzania himself, once taught:

The Board Chairperson of Pugu Secondary School has promised to work on all challenges facing disabled students at the school.  Lieutenant Dr. Edward Masala mentioned some of the challenges as shortage of water, ill-equipped laboratory and library, and lack of facilities for disabled students.  The school has 65 disabled students.

"We have to provide them with good facilities to create an enabling and conducive learning environment for them like other students," he said.  Lieutenant Dr. Masala was giving his keynote address during a Form Four graduation ceremony held at the school on Thursday.  He commended the graduates for behaving well before sitting for their final examinations scheduled early October this year, calling upon them to avoid using mobile phones during class hours.  The headmaster of the school, Mr. Rukonge Mwero, said education was their heritage before urging them to thoroughly prepare for the coming exams.

One of the graduates, Ezekiel Mgaya (20), who is disabled, said he was happy to graduate because it shows that disability is not inability.  He urged the public to support disabled students in order to make themselves independent, something which will be beneficial not only to them but also to the nation at large.

A total of 107 students, three of them disabled, graduated yesterday.  Pugu Secondary School was among the most popular schools in the 1970s and 1980s, having produced prominent politicians and professionals including the former President Benjamin Mkapa.  The "Father of the Nation," the late Mwalimu Nyerere, also taught at the school.

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