Saifullah in blue, taking notes in braille| Photo: Sana Ullah Sifat

Safiullah “Visual Impairment is not a hurdle for me to get education.”

16-year-old Safiullah, a person with visual impairment, is pleased for having the ability to learn education for his bright future with other same age students in mainstream school.

Safiullah who is now learning at eighth grade was enrolled at mainstream school in 2013 after studying special education in preparatory education center conducted by Disability Program of Swedish Committee for Afghanistan in Jalalabad city of Nangarhar province.

Safiullah said, “In 2011, I started learning at special education class conducted by SCA’s Disability Program. For two years, I studied preparatory education including brail, mathematics, Pashtu reading and writing and religious lessons. In 2013, I was introduced to Isteqlal High School and started learning at fourth grade.”

In fifth and sixth grades, he got first position. As a result of expedited quiz, he was upgraded to eighth grade instead of seventh grade.

He said, “During the class, I write all the daily lessons by brail and memorize them at home. I don’t think I am visually impaired. I can do what other students can do it.”

Safiullah is also member Cricket Team of persons with visual impairment in Nangarhar. “I played at the cricket competitions held among teams from Nangarhar, Kunar and Balk province. By playing in the games, I understood what our capabilities are.”

In the morning, Safiullah goes to school and in the afternoon, he attends seminary to memorize holly Quran. He said, “I have very busy schedule, as I am engaged all day at school and seminary but in the evening, I am studying lessons of the day. On weekends, I am playing cricket with other peers.”

Principle of Isteqlal High School Ahmad Shah Iqbal, who once attended special education workshop, praises the efforts of SCA’s Disability Program in physical, economic and social rehabilitation of person with disabilities. 

He said, “It is the right of every child to learn education. As SCA attempt to prepare persons with disabilities for learning education, it is the best service for empowerment of this marginalized group.

Saifurahman, father of Safiullah owns a shop of mobile phones in Jalalabad city. He appreciates Swedish Committee for Afghanistan for preparing his son to get further education. Safiullah is his oldest son. He has another son with visual impairment too.

“In fact, I was very worried about future of Safiullah. I was thinking that my son will not able to live independently. Now, I believe that by learning education, he will have good future” Mr. Saifurahman added. 

Safiullah hopes to finish high school and attend law faculty in the university to become a prominent lawyer in the future in order to play his role in improvement of access of persons with disabilities to their rights.