By Alfred Mthandizi
The much awaited Braille Cup will be taking place at Kaliyeka Primary School from 13 and 14 July this year. Airtel Official, Isabel Kachinjika, confirmed to our reporter in the capital city of Lilongwe when Airtel was making a cash donation of K3 Million. “Yes it’s true that the competition will be held on 13th and 14th July, 2017 at Kaliyeka Model Primary School in Lilongwe. The competition is going national for the first time and gets MK3m boost from Airtel Malawi this year,” said Kachinjika.
Deputy Director of Special Needs Education from the Ministry of Education, Mr. David Njaidi expressed satisfaction that this will be the first year that the competition, now in its fourth year, will be held nationally. “This time we preceded with a cluster based competition last month in June which involved 16 primary schools competing to qualify for the national competition and out of these 16 schools, 12 have now proceeded to the National competition.” Mr. Njaidi explained.
Presenting the cheque on behalf of Airtel, Isabel Kachinjika said they were proud to support the visually impaired students who participate in the competition every year. “Our adopted school, Salima Primary, is an integrated school that has a resource centre for visually impaired students which we continuously support with braille paper, styluses and cubes among other stationery items which the students use and so when the Ministry approached us for support with the competition 3 years ago, it was an opportunity for us to support more students from other learning institutions.” Kachinjika explained.
Last year’s winners of the Braille Cup was Nsiyaludzu Primary School who won cash prizes and other items like braille paper, universal braille kits, radios, and gift packs. Airtel Malawi has been sponsoring the competition for 3 consecutive years to the total value of K12.5 million from 2015 to 2017.
The Braille Cup is a national academic competition for students with visual impairment in Malawi which started in 2014 under the USAID’S Early Grade Reading Activity (EGRA). This competition is part of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology’s National Reading Program (NRP)’s approach to improve reading instructions among all learners including those with disabilities. In addition to this, the Braille Cup aims to foster a model of academic achievement, good sportsmanship, community involvement and social inclusion.