Conakry, July 15, 2023 – Among the thousands of candidates who took the 2023 single Baccalaureate in Guinea, a poignant story emerges from the exceptional success of Fatoumata Binta Barry. Despite being blind for eleven years, the young woman who aspires to become a lawyer overcame the obstacles and brilliantly passed the national exam. She thus obtains her ticket for the university.
The Ministry of National Education and Literacy has made public Baccalaureate results on Saturday July 15, revealing that of the 93,468 applicants, 25,668 were admitted, including 8,442 girls. Among these remarkable achievements, Fatoumata Binta Barry, an inspiring student, showed unwavering determination despite her visual impairment.
23-year-old Fatoumata Binta Barry faced setback last year, but that didn’t deter her. Armed with determination and tenacity, she rose to the challenge brilliantly this year and ranked 1262nd in the national ranking. His outstanding performance was rewarded with an Abien mention, highlighting his talent and commitment to his studies.
Photo by Medsile pour Iwaria
A difficult learning
Fatoumata Binta Barry, a Guinean student, had a challenging academic journey following the gradual loss of her sight in 2012, when she was in 9th grade. However, his determination to continue his studies was unwavering. ” It all started with headaches, then I gradually lost my sight. It took me time to adapt to the situation and resume my studies. My beginnings were very difficult, because the schools refused to accept me because of my handicap. I had to take three years of training to learn Braille so I could write without seeing.“, she says.
Despite these obstacles, Fatoumata persevered by recording the lectures, listening to them at home, and writing them in her own way using Braille. She also had to look for novels and pamphlets in order to study, as Braille materials are not widely available in education in Guinea.
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Today, she can be proud of her success, having passed her Baccalaureate brilliantly. Boubacar Aliou Bah, one of the leaders of his school, shares this enthusiasm and expresses his admiration for Fatoumata: ” The year has not been easy for her. But she fought against winds and tides to get the Bac with honors. I am animated by a feeling of moral satisfaction and pride. Despite his handicap, if Binta was able to get the Bac, why not the others. She must be a model of success for all students in our country.«
Become a lawyer to defend vulnerable people
For Fatoumata Binta Barry, obtaining her Baccalaureate diploma is only one step towards the realization of her dreams. Despite her blindness, this young Guinean student has an unwavering ambition: to become a lawyer to defend two causes that are particularly close to her heart: women and people with disabilities.
From a young age, Fatoumata had a strong penchant for advocacy. Her burning desire to support women in their quest for equality and emancipation is now doubled by her own experience as a blind person, leading her to also advocate for people with disabilities.
Success in Bac is not an end in itself, according to the blind. Fatoumata Binta Barry plans to take law courses at university to become a lawyer. A childhood dream to defend two causes: women and people with disabilities.
It testifies to the difficulties faced by blind or visually impaired people in the Guinean education system. “During the exams, our subjects are not transcribed and we are also evaluated under the same conditions as sighted people. It’s quite a nightmare”describes the new bachelor.
Photo by AMISOM pour Iwaria
The school, “the light of the blind”
Fatoumata Binta Barry, far from being discouraged by her visual handicap, chose to brave the difficulties to continue her studies. For her, disability is not inevitable, and it is with an unshakeable will that she embarked on the path of education.
“No obstacle is insurmountable in this life, she says confidently. Rather than being a burden on her family or a burden on society, she preferred to make school her light as a blind person. Fatoumata Binta Barry firmly believes that education is the way to transcend the limitations imposed by her disability.
She even refutes the label blind, preferring to define herself as visually impaired or blind, thus underlining the power of knowledge and literacy to break down stereotypes associated with people with disabilities. “When you manage to read and write, you are not blind, but rather visually impaired or blind. A blind person is illiterate..
Despite her success in the Baccalaureate, Fatoumata Binta Barry is aware that her path to university will be strewn with pitfalls. The lack of novels adapted in Braille and of accessible media forced her to actively search for electronic documents. In class, she records the lessons to listen to them again at home so that she can summarize on her own.