Second degree for blind Ghanaian student in education

13 June 2005

Farewell: (From left) Prof Crain Soudien (HOD, School of Education), Dr John Akokpari (warden of Homadzi's residence, Woolsack), Joseph Atsu Homadzi, and David Gilmour (course coordinator).

It was a celebration of note when Ghanaian MEd student Joseph Atsu Homadzi said farewell to colleagues and supervisors in the School of Education. The occasion marked the completion of Homadzi's second degree at UCT, his Master's in Educational Administration, Planning and Policy.

Homadzi is blind, the result of badly-treated conjunctivitis as a child. He has never allowed this disability to interfere with his plans. His thesis, The Applicability of School Effectiveness and School Improvement Approaches to School Reform in Africa, has been tailored to meet the pressing concern of how to improve education in Africa, an important goal attached to the African Renaissance.

"As far as my area of speciality of concerned, which is the policy area, I want to contribute my quota to education in Africa at the policy level. I would be very grateful to have the opportunity to put my knowledge and skills that I've acquired on the course into improving the falling standard of education on the continent."

Homadzi will also take his skills back to the classroom at the School for the Blind in Akropong, in Akropong Aklwapim, his hometown.

He praises his sponsors, ESP Germany, for providing the finances that have underpinned both his degrees at UCT. And will consider returning to do a PhD if he gets further sponsorship.

"They have been very supportive."

His inspiration is to build his country and help the blind community in Ghana - and Africa for that matter.

Help in the form of the TCATS programme, that converts text to Braille, through the UCT Disability Unit, has been very welcome, Homadzi said.

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