|Integrated Education Programme for the Visually Impaired (Blind Children)|
Poverty, illiteracy, lack of knowledge about health, malnutrition, lack of vitamin, hazardous jobs like welding, etc. are some of the major causes of blindness in our country. Due to malnutrition, a huge number of children become blind every year in Bangladesh. Due to lack of care, treatment, and training, the blind people live in a miserable condition. There is no specific survey of blind population and so it is difficult to indicate the exact number of blind people in the country.
The DSS is running the "Integrated Education Programme for the Visually Impaired (blind) Children" with a view to provide education with normal students. They are taught in braille system, which requires braille books. The books are published in the braille press of the Employment and Rehabilitation Centre for the Physically Handicapped (ERCPH), Tongi, Gazipur. Started functioning since 1974, the Programme has incorporated the syllabus of the Secondary Education System. Initially, under this programme, 47 units have been set up in selected normal secondary schools in 47 districts. Lessons learnt from the ongoing 47 units of the said programme, the rest 17 districts of the country have been covered through this programme and the number of units is now 64. The number of students remain 640 every year, as some of the students pass out in the SSC Examination and some new students get admission in the schools.
The programme helps the visually impaired children to get school education, social education and mobility training. Thus the programme aims at the development of the visually impaired students through education and training and make them productive citizens of the country. It has been observed that they are capable to lead self-sustained lives provided they are blessed with essential education and requisite training. The DSS has signed a MOU with an International NGO named the Sight Savers International to enhanced Integrated Education Programme for Visually Impaired Students.