Mainstreaming Disability In Cameroon: UB Records First Exarminer With Visual Impairment

Lecturers, student pose for a picture after the thesis examination.

By Kesah Princely and Ngome Michael, in Buea

Dr Nyugap Charly has become the first ever lecturer with visual impairment to examine an academic thesis in the University of Buea (UB).

Tuesday September 15 remains a historic day as the young doctor served as an examiner in two Master’s degree theses, defended at the boardroom of the Faculty of Education.

TWIF News took interest in one of the topics which focused on the “Effects of explicit teaching on the reading skills of pupils with dyslexia”.

During the process of cross examination, Dr. Nyugap Charly in the presence of the Chair and Supervisor of the thesis, showed mastery of the entire piece all though he was not served a copy in braille (writing for persons with visual impairment).

For over 30 minutes, participants were marvelled at the high sense of professionalism exhibited by the academic with visual impairment.

In exclusive interview with TWIF News after Tuesday’s intellectual exercise, the Doctor of Philosophy in Special Education revealed that the defense thesis was a stepping stone towards enhancing disability mainstreaming in Cameroon.

“This exercise is important because we are talking about ability in disability and there is no correlation between visual impairment and mental capability,” he said.

“Given that this is happening for the first time in the University, society should be blamed if persons with visual impairment are excluded from mainstream activities and not us,” he added.

Dr. Nyugap who defended his PhD about two years ago opined that the thesis he examined will play a pivotal role in knowledge acquisition, stressing that learning disability is an area that has largely been neglected in the country.

Meantime, Winifred Lenna Bakoh who defended the master’s degree piece in Special Educational intimated that her examiner was the best, and that the questions posed to her were quite intriguing.

“I am very elated that Dr. Nyugap examined me because he is a seasoned lecturer and his disability has nothing to do with his skills. Disability is not at all inability because he is very up to the task,” she asserted.

The examination of the two theses in the University of Buea by Dr. Nyugap Charly comes at a time when disability inclusion in Cameroon is being questioned by human rights and disability advocates.

Some crusaders, themselves persons with disabilities like Dr Nyugap believe that no effective advocacy can take place if those being advocated for are not allowed to champion the course.

Published by TWIF NEWS

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