“I became blind while solving mathematics questions” – WAEC’s best physically challenged student

“I became blind while solving mathematics questions” – WAEC’s best physically challenged student

Precious Mbajiorgu, a student from Awada Primary School in Obosi near Onitsha, has emerged as the top physically challenged candidate in the 2022 West African School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).

Her journey hasn’t been easy, as she lost her sight at the age of 11 while solving a mathematics problem in class.

Recalling the incident, Precious vividly described how her world turned dark in an instant, making it impossible for her to see the blackboard or anything else around her.

“I was not born blind. I used to see perfectly when I was a child until I turned 11. It happened between 2007 and 2008, but I cannot remember the exact day. I just went to school that fateful day. Back then, I was a pupil at Awada Primary School, Obosi, near Onitsha. It was in that school that I became visually impaired. My classmates and I were in the classroom solving mathematics on the board. I had answered the first maths question and was about to go to the next question when suddenly, I discovered that I could not see the board anymore and could no longer see other things. Everywhere became dark,” she said.

However, she didn’t let her disability hinder her determination to pursue an education.

Despite facing numerous obstacles, Precious had to put her studies on hold for several years.

It wasn’t until 2018 when a group of evangelists introduced her to the Oji River Special Education Centre, where she received remedial courses using learning aids like typewriters and other technological tools.

“I visited many hospitals, and after diagnosis, the doctors told me that there was nothing wrong with my sight and that they did not see any defect, yet I could not see with my eyes. That was how I managed the situation till I got to SS2 in 2012 and could not go further. So, I stopped going to school until 2018 when a group of evangelists came to my place and told me about Oji River Special Education Centre. They took me there where I took remedial courses using learning equipment such as typewriters and other technological tools and after that, I enrolled at St John of God Secondary School in Awka where I started from SS1 to complete my secondary education,” the lady added

Currently a 100-level student of Guidance and Counselling, Precious expressed her disbelief at her achievements.

“I took the SSCE, National Examination Council exam and the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination last year. My visual impairment delayed me and prompted me to enrol on remedial courses to perfect my use of reading with study aids. I felt happy and excited and each time I think about it, I ask myself whether it is real. Before then, I had already received the 2022 Best Art Student award at St. John of God Secondary School, so when the WAEC award came, it made me very happy and made me feel that my hard work paid off,” Precious said.

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Olusola Sorinmade

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