Students learn sign language and braille to help their classmates

Ten years old Nadia, a student in the fourth grade in Mawla Ali school is one of the youngest participants in Inclusive Education and Special Education training conducted by the Swedish Committee for Afghanistan in Balkh province. The program conducted to teach sign language and braille to teachers and students and show them how they can help their classmates/students with disabilities in their schools.

Nadia Says: “My classmate Khadija is visually impaired and dialogue with her is difficult because no one knows the sign language. I attended this training to learn the sign language and now I can help Khadija and teach the sign language to other students in the class.”  

One of the biggest problems in the schools is the non-familiarity of the students and teachers with sign language and braille; thus, the disabled students enrolled in public schools are facing many problems.

Mohammad Akbar Qati, Education Project Manager for the Swedish Committee for Afghanistan in the north says: “We try to educate teachers and students about inclusive education and special education to make them able to help the students with disabilities in schools. The main purpose of this training is to provide a facility, solving problems, and the integration of children with disabilities in society.”

A total of 40 teachers and students from different schools in Mazar-e-Sharif attended this training and they are happy to help the students with disabilities.

Razia Sarfaraz is teaching in Naqshbandi girl’s school for seven years. She says: “This is our responsibility to help the students with disabilities in schools. Learning the sign language and braille will help us in better understanding and teaching in the class. This is our commitment that we have to help the students with disabilities and educating them is a responsibility for us.”  

At the same time, Agha Mohammad Niazi is a teacher in General Ghulam Mohammad high school. He says:  "Before this training, we did not know how to talk or deal with students with disabilities. Compared to other students, students with disabilities need more support and attention, so this training for the students and teachers who have classmates/students with disabilities in their classes are very essential."

To acquaint teachers and students with special and inclusive education, the Education Project of the Swedish Committee for Afghanistan in the north conducts ten-day and twenty-day training every year. In 2020, about 350 students and teachers from Balkh, Jawzjan, and Samangan provinces who have classmates/students with disabilities in their classes participated in these trainings.