Blind pupils unhappy in mainstream schools

PUBLISHED : Monday, 02 August, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 02 August, 2010, 12:00am

Nearly half of blind pupils in mainstream schools are not enjoying campus life, while a third have been prevented from studying subjects of their choice, according to a survey.

The Hong Kong Blind Union interviewed 42 visually impaired pupils in mainstream schools in March and April. It is estimated that 138 visually impaired pupils are enrolled in mainstream schools in Hong Kong.

Out of the 42, 18 students said they did not enjoy campus life, as they did not share common topics with classmates. They felt their needs were not understood. Thirteen said they had wanted to study subjects such as physical education and computers, but were not permitted to do so.

A Form Four student, said he was not allowed to take subjects such as biology, chemistry and physics. 'It limited my choice to arts subjects,' he said.

The study also found that 22 students waited more than three months for Braille textbooks, with eight waiting more than six months.

Union vice-president Wong Chun-hang said it was unfair. 'Without books, blind students must rely on what teachers say.'