The Cameroon Baptist Convention Health Services, CBCHS through the Socio Economic Empowerment for Persons with Disability, SEEPD program has completed and handed four projects to The University of Bamenda, UBa.
The hand over ceremony which happened Tuesday April 27, were donations of facilities to strengthen a disability friendly learning atmosphere for learners with disabilities in UBa.
These projects comprising a furnished learning support resource equipped with braille, adaptive computers, recorders, combined scanner, printer and photocopier, a ball with bell, projector with sound among other learning gadgets plus an accessible toilet, two access ramps leading to SOA Complex and the university health unit will boost inclusive learning.
Senior administrators CBCHS head by the Director, Prof Tih Pius were on ground to hand over the projects which were received by administrators of UBa with the Vice Chancellor represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Teaching Professionalisation and Information and Communication Technology, DVC-TIC, Prof Emmanuel Suh Cheo.
These projects, Prof Tih emphasized are to accompany the university which has stood out as a reference university; ‘‘The University of the Future’’ as its slogan implies. ‘‘There can be no future without full inclusion and participation of students and staff with disabilities’’, he said
Worth 7.9million FCFA, these projects are fruits of a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU entered into by the two institutions on May 26 last year. Other activities that have taken place among both parties Prof Tih enumerated are participation of university authorities and staff in workshops relating to inclusion organised by CBCHS, creation of association of students with disabilities and advocacy messages on campus promoting inclusion.
To keep fostering the inclusion drive constituted in the MoU, the university committed to contribute her own quota. ‘‘UBa administration is currently trying to acquire electronic boards that would carry all messages on the promotion of inclusion in The University of Bamenda’’, Prof Suh assured.
The electronic boards will carry messages such as ‘‘UBa promotes inclusion, equality and diversity’’, ‘‘Learners with disabilities are students like you, support their inclusion’’, ‘‘Persons with disabilities have equal rights to education, make teaching and learning accessible to all students’’ to raise awareness among members of the university community.
Proud of efforts made by the university staff to assist students with disabilities, the CBCHS boss broke news of plans by his institution to sponsor the trip of a staff to an African country to acquire more skills and boost best practices. ‘‘We have plans to sponsor one of your staff with passion for disability, inclusion education to a university in Africa that operates this service. The staff will learn some best practices that can be adapted to the context of Cameroon on return’’ he declared.
On his part, the representative of the Vice Chancellor, Prof Emmanuel Suh Cheo assured the Prof Tih-led team that the projects shall be well guarded to carter for the needs of the 65 students with disabilities currently enrolled into UBa. ‘‘I urge all challenged students in UBa who are immediate beneficiaries of these donations to be proper stewards and make good use of the equipment especially in their studies. At the central level, we undertake to continue working with CBCHS for a better inclusiveness in the university community’’.
Successful completion of these projects is a milestone for CBCHS-UBa collaboration for the creation of safe spaces that include all in the pursuit of knowledge acquisition. Adding up to the Sustainable Development Goal four, Quality Education.