Teachers’ Day: How visually impaired tutor is giving vision

Wednesday, October 5th, 2022 01:26 | By
Teachers' Day: How visually impaired tutor is giving vision
Simon Njenga in class. PHOTO/Courtesy

Simon Njenga stands out amongst his colleagues at Kariguini Primary School in Kandara, Murang’a County.

Despite being visually impaired, he is able to run about his duties just like the other teachers with minimal assistance. For 11 years, he has been a teacher here establishing a strong bond with the students, colleagues and parents.

Njenga is a Kiswahili and Christian Religious Education (CRE) teacher handling several classes and doubles up as class teacher in one of the Class Seven streams.

He says teaching is a calling for him and that’s why he decided to pursue the course. “I became visually impaired at a tender age, but this did no deter me from pursuing my dream,” he says. He said being posted in a regular school boosted his esteem as he feels equal to other people, despite his condition.

He, however, says starting off wasn’t so easy for him, as parents and the pupils were reluctant to accept him, but little by little, they embraced him.

“I don’t feel different from other teachers, because I go to class and teach regular students just like they do” he says. The teacher says the good performance by his students motivates him as they do better compared to those by normal teachers.

Interestingly, he has been able to capture the syllabus and he is able to guide the students through the lesson. He knows the students by their names and their sitting positions and this makes his work easier.

In class, however, his assistant Ester Nyambura helps him in marking assignment and exams for the learners.

“We also do the lesson plans, scheming and marking the class register together,” says Njenga.

His work has, however, not been without a challenge pointing out that he needs braille materials, but he cannot afford them because they are very expensive.

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