Training in Rural Nigeria

One of the great benefits of our weekly typed meetings, compared to the more traditional spoken variety, is the ability to “dip in and out” of them. This was aptly demonstrated by John Dada on Wednesday - for despite the “distraction” of chairing the important BB4NG meeting in Abuja, he was able to read what we were discussing and even appoint a chairman for our team meeting!

John had already emailed the UK group with his contribution to this week’s agenda, but it came as a welcome surprise that (albeit briefly) he was able to join our meeting as well.

John found time to give us a quick reflection on the meeting in Abuja and summed it up by saying
“BB4NG is a historic event for Nigeria, and there are a few national and international events that are creating synergy for Nigerian stakeholders”.

This week’s meeting focused on training: The UK team were given updates about JAWS Training (a software programme which enables partially sighted students to use a computer) and the Knowledge Resource Centre at Fantsuam Foundation.

JAWS update:

We were pleased to have it confirmed that the first JAWS course was completed this Saturday with the graduation of three visually impaired students.
In addition, two sighted FF instructors were taught how to deliver lectures to the visually impaired. It was reported that this was a steep learning curve for both the students and the FF staff and that together they are already looking at how they can improve the course.
The course was on Basic Computer Studies and ended with an exam for these students. The practical component was learning the word processor functions.
Plans are already underway to enrol these students in the Advanced Computer Course

An interesting discussion followed about the different types of visual impairment and Pam related how she had been able to experience how tunnel vision differs from macular degeneration by wearing specially-designed spectacles. I personally remember as a student nurse being blindfolded in order to help us gain some insight into the challenges facing someone who is visually impaired.

For additional information about and great photos of JAWS training at FF please see Cicely's blog. (Cicely is a VSO at FF and has been instrumental in helping to achieve this successful first course)

Knowledge Resource Centre (KRC):

Ladi, the recently appointed KRC officer informed the UK team that students from the Fantsuam Foundation are regular visitors especially the CISCO students who tend to use it everyday. In addition there are others who use the centre for research. Fantsuam Academy trained 500 people over the last year in computer related courses. The Nigerian team then identified the need for a ramp to the KRC in order to improve disabled access to the facility.

Also mentioned :

  • Website development and increasing the visibility of FF’s work.
  • First Thursday meeting due 5 August.