Sunday, December 6, 2009

Disabled fight adversity for education


PETALING JAYA: For the sake of a proper education, they have to go through terrible hardship — like attending school in diapers or urinating in bottles.

Gan Mun Wai, 13, from Ipoh and Kenny Lee Man Jun, 13, from Klang are students with special needs studying at SMK Sri Permata near here. Until recently, the school had no toilet facilities for such students.

“We want to achieve our dreams,” said Mun Wai.

Mun Wai, who has suffered from spina bifida (split spine) since birth, was forced to wear pampers to school while Man Jun, who has muscular dystrophy had to urinate into a bottle before pouring it into the toilet.

Special kids: Gan Mun Wai (behind in green tie), Ooi Wai Chong (with a red school bag), Kam Yu Choi, Leong Yao Wen and Kenny Lee Man Jun, getting ready for school.

However, 10 months after both Gan and Lee started starting going to the school, it managed to secure additional allocation to modify a store room into a disabled-friendly toilet.

School principal Ong Hock Thye said the Petaling Utama district education office approved the RM15,000 allocation after several follow-ups.

Next year, another student with special needs, Song Pei Xuan, will be joining the boys in the school.

Pei Xuan has also faced great difficulty in completing her primary school education in SS2 near here.

She had to wear diapers to school and a maid would have to change her diapers during recess everyday as the school also did not have a disabled-friendly toilet.

All three are currently staying at Beautiful Gate Foundation for the Disabled in SS2 and they are sent to school everyday by a disabled-friendly van.

They are among six students — three in primary schools — who are staying at the foundation.

Three other boys, Kam Yu Choi, Leong Yao Wen and Ooi Wai Chang, are currently attending other schools which do not have toilet facilities for students with special needs.

Source: The Star