Philippine National School for the Blind conducted the first-ever Braille Reading and Writing contest for all its learners. 

The contest is open to all learners blind and low vision alike. The contest is divided into two categories: Braille Reading in Filipino and English and Braille Writing in Filipino and English.  

In Braille reading, contestants can opt to read the passage in uncontracted (It is a letter for letter translation of print to braille) or contracted Baille (it is the short ways of writing braille that make reading and writing braille faster, and the braille takes less space).

While in Braille writing, contestants are scored according to their ability to spell words(s) correctly and use the Braille contractions accurately. Furthermore, there are different reading selection and words to write for elementary and high school students.

Braille reading is timed. Each contestant is given 3 minutes to read the selection silently, after which, the contestant is given another 3 minutes to read the selection aloud in front of the panel of judges. Braille reading is scored base on the learner’s diction and pronunciation, expression, including the use of punctuation, and mannerism while reading.

Just like in Braille reading, Braille writing is likewise timed. Contestants must be able to braille the given word or words in 10 seconds. Braille writing is judged base on the frequency of errors committed in spelling and in the use of braille contractions.

More than 100 learners joined the competition. Learners as young as grade three participated in the contest. A total of 16 prizes and awards were given in the contest.

This contest is just the first of three series. The 16 winners will again compete for the second time sometime in November during the celebration of the Reading Month.

Winners from the second round of the competition will again compete for the final round.

The two participants who will emerge “best” in braille reading and writing will compete in the 6th International Braille Reading and Writing Contest to be held in Thailand.

This undertaking is the initiative of Mr. Ronald Manguiat, English teacher in the Junior High School as well as the trainer on the international Braille reading and writing competition held in Thailand for three years.