Paralegal goes the extra mile to get a blind boy back in school





Habibu Abdulah, 11, a disabled pupil at Michakaini Primary School in Chakechake is one among many children who from poor backgrounds whose parents find it extremely difficult to provide even the most basic needs. Habibu who is blind copes with life in a home where parents often clash over whether he should continue with school or stay at home. His disability adds another obstacle to their options.

At school he couln’t keep pace with other pupils due to the lack of specialized equipment such as a Braille typewriter and books leaving his teachers helpless at most.  Under the weight of these difficulties his parents decided to take him out of school.




Halima Sultani, Habibu’s teacher, followed the matter up with the boy’s parents and was told that Habibu could no longer go to school because his disability was too grave a challenge for them to deal with. The hour-long walk to school was severely punishing both for him and them.

Sultani later said, “I went to the local authorities but the sheha (ward executive) advised me to seek more competent advice based on the fact that by staying home Habibu’s right to education was being sidelined. After several days moving from one office to another I was introduced to the option of seeking some form of legal recourse and that’s when I was directed to a local paralegal organization offering free legal advice and aid”.

Riziki, a paralegal at the unit, arranged to meet the teacher at Habibu’s school where she explained the boy’s situation highlighting the fact that Habibu was not going to school due to his disability and also due to the lack of cooperation from his family citing that his mother uses his disability as a means of procuring money from people’s goodwill.

Riziki then paid Habibu’s parents a visit where his father told her that the hardships they face make it profoundly difficult for them to sufficiently meet Habibu’s needs both at home and at school. She used the visit to highlight the responsibilities every parent has towards their children in respect of a child’s rights as stipulated by the law. She explained a child’s right to education and parents’ role in fulfilling this right.

Additionally, Riziki arranged for the availability of Braille exercise books through the local education office.



“I want to study right up to university and become a teacher so that I can help other children like me become better educated and important people here,” says an ambitious Habibu who is now in standard three.

Riziki and Habibu’s family have put in place an arrangement that ensures he gets to school and back home safe and his performance in class has begun to show improvements compared to where it was not too long ago.