The Sight Impaired Primary School

At the primary school, apart from a general education, the students are taught Sinhala Braille and Standard English Braille. However, the pupils prefer Sinhala since they communicate vocally in this language. By age 12 they are quite adept at this means of communication.

When the young children first come to school it is a very difficult time for them. They are away from their family for the first time, and in an unfamiliar environment, which for a blind or partially sighted child is a cause for much insecurity. The school often allows a child's mother to stay in the school for a few days after a child is admitted, to help the child settle down. Often the children aren't very independent on arrival, but as they settle in, and go into classes for lessons, apart from the subjects, they learn how to interact with other children. They learn to dress by themselves, how to find their way around the school, and become quite independent in the secure school environment. The very young children wash a few of their clothes, but generally the matrons do such tasks for them. It can take a new child some time to get used to the school environment, and to get over missing their family. They learn a great deal every day and through repeated learning experiences form ideas about life, the world, and their place in it.