Excellence on the Horizon
Excellence on the Horizon provides high quality, professional educational assistance across the country, to pupils with visual impairment. The children receive a weekly, two-hour private tutorial at their home, from a professional teacher trained to work with pupils with visual impairment. The lessons concentrate on schoolwork in order to enable the children to keep abreast of the classroom level in math, sciences, English, grammar, geography, etc. The program’s scope was expanded following its success in the last few years.
The need for the program
Of the five senses, sight is a person’s most valuable sense, yet most often taken for granted. A child whose sense of sight is limited is at a tremendous disadvantage in all aspects of their life. Impaired vision causes developmental delays in early childhood as well as often-severe learning difficulties.
Over 80% of children with visual impairment are integrated into mainstream schools in Israel. The overwhelming majority of these 2,500 children encounter daily difficulties in keeping abreast of the class progress due to obvious obstacles, such as non-verbal communication in the classroom or lack of school materials in Braille. While they do not suffer from mental disability, their life-long vision impairment affects their scholastic performance and prevents them from reaching their full intellectual and learning potential. Thus, children with visual impairment must work much harder to learn at the level of their seeing peers.
The program’s rationale
The basic principle of the program is the belief in the children’s ability to excel academically. The evaluation of the program and feedbacks from participants – parents, pupils and teachers – there is a clear academic progress of the children, their self-esteem and belief in their own abilities improves significantly, and so their social status among their sighted peers. The evaluation of the program also finds that the learning process enables the pupils to make the most of the skills and talents, and aspire to excel academically. This leads later to higher education as adults.
- Promote academic abilities and achievements of pupils with blindness and visual impairment.
- Equip the pupils with skills for improved integration in their class and among their sighted peers.
- Equip the pupils with skills and abilities to enable them to pursue higher education.
- Enhance the academic excellence of the pupils.
- Development of positive self-identity and a sense of capability regarding learning and generally.
- Improve the child’s self-esteem, as well as his image in their family and among their peers.
- Strengthen the relation between the association, the parents and the children.