By ZACHERY PER
INCLUSIVE education provided at the University of Goroka (UOG) has seen vision-impaired student Clency Amos graduate with a degree in political science and international relations last Tuesday.
Proud tutor Anton Sumuk Simbai said it was pleasing that the university was including “the excluded members of our society”.
He said this segment of the population had talent and ability and could contribute to building the country.
Simbai said Clency was a bright student who had been able to overcome her disability and attain a bachelor’s degree.
“She is a gifted, smart and a quick learner,” he said.
“I had the opportunity to teach her in some courses at the UOG social sciences division.
“I set tests and assignments for her since 2018 with the help of
Joe Kuman, a specialist from the Special Inclusive Education Centre when she first enrolled at the university.”
According to Simbai, Clency,
who hails from Mingende in Kerowagi, Chimbu, also created a rare opportunity for him to learn how to deal with students with special needs.
“When I asked during final exams to extend time for her to finish apart from the other students, she would refuse and tell me to be strict and treat her like the others,” he said.
“She would even finish ahead of other students.
“She told me once after the exam that she should not be given extra time just because she is a vision impaired student.”
Simbai said Clency said that she wanted to be treated the same as other students and compete on the same level as treating her differently would be discriminatory against other students.
He said as a result, Clency had proved herself and was able to earn her degree and graduate with the other students.
Simbai said Clency’s achievement proved that people with disabilities could perform if given the opportunity and support. He said they did not see their disabilities as barriers that would restrict them but challenges to be overcome and learned from.
Simbai said more needed to be done in this area by the Government and relevant authorities to ensure more talented and capable individuals like Clency were allowed to fulfil their potential.
“It has been quite a unique experience to teach her and she has changed my perspective on people with special needs who can be able to contribute positively towards nation building if we nourish their abilities,” he said.
By ZACHERY PER