The Integrated School for the Blind (ISFB), Kumbo started in 1981 to take care of the academic needs of children with visual impairments. Up till 1998, all the children were housed and fed by the school in Kumbo. To better promote sustainable livelihood, the centre now operates a 4-year centre based pre integration component followed by integration into mainstream Primary and Secondary Schools in four integration zones. In 2013, enrollment stood at 57 pupils and students with visual impairment. The institution is operated by the CBCHS in partnership with Christopher Blinded Mission (CBM) in Germany and AusAID with support from other well wishers.
The ISFB Kumbo provides opportunities for the formal education of children with visual impairments in regular schools as a way of preparing them for future socio-economic empowerment.
The school has as objectives to:
- Help children to develop acquiring minds in order to give them the ability to question and apply themselves to tasks.
- Assist in providing formal education.
- Provide an opportunity for each child to develop means of communication appropriate to his/her capacity.
- Advocate for environments to be accessible for children with visual impairments.
- Encourage community involvement in the education of children with visual impairments.
- Teaching of Braille
- Teaching of Mobility and Orientation
- Transcribing work for children with visual impairment in regular schools
- Provide Low Visions Services
- Counseling of families of children with visual impairment
- House to house identification and referral of children with visual impairments.
The ISFB use specially trained Resource Teachers to assist children with visual impairments in the various zones. Also, the school works with families and communities to facilitate the social inclusion of children with visual impairment.
In 2013, the ISFB had four integration zones namely:
- Resource Room
- CBC Primary School, Kumbo
- CMBC Kumbo
- Government Bilingual High School, Kumbo
- St. Augustine College, Nso
- CBC Primary Schools: Kakar, Wowo and Mbipgo
- Joseph Merrick Baptist College, Ndu
- GTC NDu
- Government Bilingual Secondary School, Bamessing
- Government Primary School, Nkfui
- Government High School, Elak
- Government Secondary School, Mbesa
- BGVS, Ngashie
- If you are teacher in a mainstream school you can contribute in the following ways:
- Developing a positive attitude towards children with disabilities
- Using correct language and developing teaching strategies that will enable those with visual impairments to follow lessons
- Placing the children at close range to the board and the teacher in class
- Using illustrations to paint a picture
- Ete, ete
- If you are a school administrator or a PTA leader:
- Encourage inclusive teaching methods
- Make the physical environment of your institution accessible
It will take 121,500FCFA to feed 1 child at the Resource Centre during 1 academic year. A child will require 45,000FCFA for Braille paper, writing frame and stylus.
Your support to the education of children with visual impairments at ISFB which could be in cash or kind is solicited. You can also be a partner with the school to tell the public about the need to educate children with visual impairments. The school is committed to educating the public never to regard a child with visual impairment as a nuisance but as an opportunity and to encouraging the public to support children with visual impairments to go to school.