Eight blind graduates pursue higher studies
Blind graduates will be motivated to complete their higher studies and join the labour market, the principal of the Bahraini-Saudi Institute for the Blind (BSIB), Abdulwahad Al Khayat, said yesterday.
"The SBIB has 10 teachers - nine blind and one deaf - and it is keen to recruit more who are capable of maximising the learning abilities of the students," he said. Five Somalis and one Sudanese graduates of the BSIB are studying in the UK, two Bahrainis are studying in Arab countries and eight local graduates are studying at the University of Bahrain.
The institute will complete 35 years by next year. It has become one of few centres in the region that provide rehabilitation and academic programmes for the blind.
"Integrating the students to the latest technology is our new policy in which the youngsters can now access the internet and type their own reports," Al Khayat said, adding that blind students had been offered computer training from grade one. The SBIB's successes are result of the support of the Bahraini and Saudi governments along with the supervision of the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.
"We are keen to motivate the blind to be active in society and make them stronger to face the life challenges," he said. Al Khayat called on the Parliament to approve a law for the handicapped. It protects the rights of special individuals with special needs in terms of education, employment and development opportunities.
He also requested the Molsa to include new members in the board of trustees of the National Institute for the Disabled to ensure better services for the blind.
The institute's awareness programmes and public activities highlight the potentials of the blinds and their determination to reach their goals.
"People have to realise that the blind are ordinary individuals with four senses instead of five so they can lead lives and be productive," Al Khayat said.
SBIB's administration and teachers keep close ties with the blind students at secondary schools and UoB to follow up their study progress and guide them to adjust to the outside world.
The use of white stick in Bahrain is far below than the rest of the world, as most blind Bahrainis feel shy to use it. For that Al Khayat and his team are keen to change the blind's opinion towards the stick. "In trips, sentertainment activities and marathons we make sure to motivate the blind to use the stick," he said.