School for the blind seeks government’s intervention over flooding
Principal, Pacelli School for the Blind and Partially Sighted, Surulere, Lagos, Jane Onyeneri, has appealed to Lagos State government to come to the aid of the school, saying the school is always inundated with flood each time it rains.
Onyeneri, in a chat with The Guardian, said when such happens, it makes movement within the compound problematic for the visually impaired students as they find it difficult to carry out their day-to-day activities while the flood lasts.She also lamented that paying staff salaries, maintaining the school’s infrastructure and providing learning equipment for the students is a huge challenge.
She said: “Our greatest challenge is the problem of flood, paying of staff salaries, upkeep and maintenance of the school. Whenever it rains, the students cannot attend classes or go to the dinning hall to eat. This is a great burden for us. We are appealing to the state and Federal Government to come to our aid. We also have pressing needs such as Braille Embosser, Braille machines, computers, tape recorder, writing frames, maths frames and scholarship to some of our graduating students.
“Pacelli School is the best for the visually impaired children in Nigeria. The Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos established the school in 1962. It has been operating for 57 years with a population of 143 students at present and staff strength of 48. It is a non-fee paying institution and co-educational boarding school. It is funded partly through religious bodies and donations from corporate organisations, private schools and individuals. Sometimes donations are not regular as expected because of the economic crisis in the country. We are also appealing to friends, benefactors and parents to help us.”
She continued: “However, we thank mayday Samaritan Foundation in collaboration with Lipoid Stiftung Company in Germany for helping us to pay salaries of auxiliary staff. We really appreciate the support given to the school by the Federal Government for purchase of educational materials for our students this year. Our immense gratitude to the governor of the central bank for renovating the girls’ hostel block.”
Reeling out some of the achievements of the school, Onyeneri stressed that the students are also exposed to vocational training that will assist them to be self-reliant in the future.“Our students participated in Tastee Fried Chicken spelling Bee competition and won the third prize out of 100 private schools in Lagos. They also went to cooking competition with sighted secondary school students at Greenland Victoria Island and we came second.”