Dar es Salaam. Visually impaired students in Tanzania are facing a critical shortage of learning materials because the country has one specialized printing press for producing the materials.
The Tanzania League of the Blind Secretary, Mr Emmanuel Simon raised the matter yesterday as he appealed for more support to the blind learners.
Mr Simon was speaking to The Citizen ahead the World commemorations of the White Cane Day to be marked October 24 in Kigoma. It is expected to be graced by Prime Minister Samia Suluhu.
He said Tanzania took part in the signing of the Marakkesh Treaty in Morroco, 2013 as a strategy to boost inclusive library services for the visually impaired and was obliged to increase investment in the services.
“The Marrakesh Treaty forms part of the body of international copyright treaties administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
The goal of this treaty, says Simon, is to create a set of mandatory limitations and exceptions for the benefit of the blind, visually impaired, and otherwise the disabled.
This year, he says, the parliament of Tanzania ratified the Marrakesh Treaty on 11th September and the next thing is to make amendment of national copyright law number 7 of 1999 so that it can accommodate the requirement stated in the treaty so it will allow the production and reproduction of learning materials in a friendly format.
Tanzania is still facing challenges in improving the Marrakesh treaty step ahead he government the amendment of the copyright law should be done as quick as possible to support the availability learning materials and support the availability of books at different levels.
White Cane Safety Day is a day set aside to celebrate the achievements of people who are blind or visually impaired and the important symbol of blindness and tool of independence, the white cane.
The event is expected to bring together about 500 people from different councils in the country. The event will start by demonstration from one point to Mwanga Square.