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Anambra physically challenged pupils construct bicycles, repair phones

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Anambra physically challenged pupils construct bicycles, repair phones

History and experience have proved that once an individual has physical deformity, the nearest option available is to resort to alms begging. One can easily see beggars along the streets and places of worship, especially in big cities, asking for help.

This is however the opposite of what obtains at the Jesus International Technical Secondary School, Orifite, Anambra State, where physically challenged pupils are taught to be financially, psychologically and emotionally independent.

At the Jesus International Technical Secondary School, physically challenged pupils are made to build confidence through skills acquisition. Pupils are brought up in the knowledge of constructing bicycles, making beads, house wiring, repairing phones, refrigerators, fans, among other things.

Visit to the school showed that the pupils, who are deaf and dumb, blind or crippled acquire skills that will benefit them and their immediate society.

The proprietor of the school, Rev. Fr. Anthony Ananwa, told this paper that pupils in the school are taught to produce things that help them improve their lives and the society.

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According to Fr. Ananwa, “They are trained in house wiring, repairing of phones, and construction of tubeless bicycles using local and foreign materials. Ours is a special type of bicycle that nails cannot puncture. Our students have produced a good number of bicycles, which we give to individuals and corporate organizations.

“I have continued to say that nobody created by God is disabled. I have the belief that even if any individual has physical deformity, he is capable of doing anything, as long as his brain is working, because, there is ability in disability.

All these people often described as disabled can actually think, work, study and do many things like any other human being. In many cases, they can do even more than the able-bodied people, just as we demonstrate here at the Jesus International Technical Secondary School. Software instructor in this school is in the wheel chair, yet, she is one of our best teachers.

“We have a lot of children here with different forms of physical issues, and we teach them how to make beads, repair laptops and handsets, construct bicycles, do house wiring, and a whole lot of things. They lean all these so that they will be independent, and also contribute meaningfully to the society.

“Today in Nigeria, many graduates roam the streets without jobs. This is because there are no paid jobs. Skills acquired in this school will go a long way to equipping the individual to fend for himself, without depending on anybody for survival.

“When any of our pupils or students completes his secondary education, he can settle down and practice what he learn, and through it, can fend for himself; not becoming a burden to the society
He further said that majority of the pupils, who have nobody to take care of them receive training at no cost; so that as many of them as want to attend school or acquire skills will do so without hindrance.

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When asked how the school copes with its financial obligations, Fr. Ananwa said the school depends on good spirited individuals for feeding of the school children, payment of salaries of teachers, building classroom blocks, and building residential structures for the special children, among other necessities.

A teacher in the school, Mrs Mmesoma Chimezue, said the children are coping very well with skills being impacted in them.

“I take the students on Electrical and Electronics, and they’re doing well. Anytime I get house wiring contract to do, I always pick some of them; because, they have got the knowledge of the job.

“Majority of them can do house wiring very well. One of them can do, at least, two bedrooms apartment. They are also trained to repair television, radio, fan, stabilizers and other home appliances,” she said.

SS3 student of the school, who gave her name simply as Nduka, said despite her physical impairment, she was able to learn how to repair household appliances like television, electric stoves, fans, refrigerators and pressing iron, among other things. She said her skill would help her in no small way in fending for herself and her family upon completion of secondary school.

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“I come here some years ago when I was still in JS1. I live in the school dormitory with some of my colleagues. We grow up under the tutelage and guidance of Fr. Anthony Ananwa, who also make sure that we acquire requisite skills that will shape our future,” she said.

Another, Uboshi Veronica, SS1 student of the school, also told this paper that she would remain indebted to Jesus International Technical Secondary School, Orifite, Anambra State, for training her to become independent, unlike the popular perception that that physically challenged persons are meant to be dependent and beggars.

“I am physically challenged, and used to be one of the street beggars in Awka. Someone who knew me from our community met me in Awka, and decided to bring me to this school. Today, besides being able to read and write, I can make beads, repair electrical appliances and can do many other handwork that can keep me out of the streets after leaving school,” she said.

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Profile: From Ozuitem, Bende Local government Area of Anambra State. Political science (B. Sc) from Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka & Business Administration (Diploma) from the University of Calabar. Email him at elekwachinedum@yahoo.com

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