Aimed at strengthening inclusive education for the blind and low-vision students, the Odisha government has signed a MoU with ‘Sightsavers’, an international non-governmental organization working to prevent avoidable blindness and promote equality for people with visual impairments.
Under the initiative signed between the Odisha Primary Education Programme Authority (OPEPA) on behalf of Department of School & Mass Education and Sightsavers, Sightsavers role would essentially involve providing technical support in disability management, low vision assessment, curriculum and special skill development among visually impaired students, a state government official said.
“As part of the MoU, Sightsavers will provide technical support to OPEPA in strengthening the mainstream education of the blind and low vision children studying in general schools across the state” the official said.
Under the bilateral arrangement, with a view to enhance the learning experience of visually-impaired students, Sightsavers, besides exhibiting wide-ranging applications of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) based education, low vision devices, daisy players, tablets, accessible education materials, disabled friendly Teaching Learning Materials (TLM), would also explore collaborations in capacity building of resource and classroom teachers towards quality education delivery for the children with special needs.
The project while targeting approximately 25,000 visually impaired students, will also work towards creating a favourable environment at schools for approximately 1.3 lakh students with special needs, currently enrolled in general schools of the state, the official added.