- Title: WEST BANK: Blind teacher inspires students
- Date: 14th December 2010
- Summary: JENIN, WEST BANK (RECENT) (REUTERS) BLIND TEACHER SAMIR ABU RUB HOLDING BOARD WITH SCREWS/PUPIL TOUCHING BOARD PUPIL TOUCHING SCREWS IN BOARD PUPIL PUTTING SCREWS IN BOARD VARIOUS OF ABU RUB HOLDING BOARD AND STUDENT READING
- Embargoed: 29th December 2010 12:00
- Location: West bank, Palestinian Territory, Occupied
- Country: Palestinian Territories
- Topics: Education
- Reuters ID: LVA77WW47BHPJ5NMHRJDG79I7MO
- Story Text: At the Al Nour school for the blind in the West Bank city of Jenin, Samir Abu Rub teaches a small group of students English.
The children who attend the school are either blind or partially sighted and rely on Braille to read and learn.
But aware of the challenges that some of the children are faced with Abu Rub came up with a different Braille technique.
Instead of small dots on paper or on cardboard, Abu Rub created a large wooden board, where instead of raised dots there are large flat topped screws.
He says his new Braille method makes learning easier for students who are partially sighted or have difficulties with their sense of touch.
''Naturally I teach Braille to students and I found that there are students who are partially sighted, or find it hard to feel, they're trying to read Braille with their eyes. So I came up with a way to make Braille easier for blind students. It's by using a wooden board with screws instead of cardboard with small dots. So those who are partially sighted can see the screws and those who have difficulty to feel things, can feel things easily. I distributed this to all the Palestinian schools for the blind,'' said the 60 year old teacher.
Abu Rub himself is also blind, he lost his sight when he was 38 years old through diabetes.
He is now keen to take his new type of Braille board even further introducing it to other schools in the Palestinian territories.
''I'm now working with the engineering department at Al Najah University to invent a board with light and sound for those who are partially sighted and for those can't see, so that they can learn, even if they are older people or children, they can learn Braille for the first time,'' he said.
The board looks similar to dominoes, it consists of a set of six holes, and the screws are put in the holes making up a letter.
The father of four also said the technique helps the students gain more confidence and encourages them to continue with their studies.
Many schools in the West Bank are under funded and pupils face difficulty gaining access to learning materials.
In June the United States pledged millions of dollars of aid to the West Bank and Gaza, with around 40 million U.S dollars going towards the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for Palestine Refugees in the Near East. The aid will go to the UNRWA's Emergency Appeal for Gaza and the West Bank, which will help improve educational and health services, increase job creation and repair shelters in Gaza.
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