Education is one of the most important things that everyone needs in his or her life. Teachers are the ones who play the vital role in educating students, including disabled students.
Last week, I went to Krousar Thmey Blind and Deaf School in Phnom Penh Thmey district in order to meet Ms Hean Samy, who
is a teacher of blind students, to let her share her experience and tell us about her daily work at the school.
When I arrived there at 3:15 pm, I saw many students, all of them are blind or deaf.
I went directly to Hean Samy’s classroom, where she was conducting a class. I asked her permission to sit and observe her class. While I was there, I noticed that the students were listening and paying attention well to their teacher. They look like any other children. They talked and played with their friends and tried their best to communicate to their teacher and friends. According to Hean Samy, all the blind students try as hard as they can to learn and gain knowledge from their teachers.
Hean Samy has worked as a teacher at Krousar Thmey since 2003. She wanted to help blind students and get more exper-ience, so she decided to involve herself with Krousar Thmey and become a teacher of blind students.
According to Hean Samy, there was a lack of teachers for blind students and she wanted to know about their world, so she encouraged herself to work as a teacher with blind students. “I want to know how the blind students study and the way they get and improve their knowledge,” she said.
Every Monday to Friday she teaches 8 hours a day at the Blind and Deaf School. She is specialized in Khmer literature. Mostly she teaches grade 10 students, so her students are about 15 years old. The first year that she started to teach a blind class there were a few difficulties that she needed to overcome.
“At first, I couldn’t get used to the class and I didn’t know clearly about the way to teach them, so I tried so hard to learn and find out how can I teach them and make it easy for them to understand like normal students.
“To get them to understand what I had taught them easily, I need to know the weak points of my students, then find a good way for them in order to improve it and learn from it,” she said.
As all her students are blind, they have a different way of learning from students who have their sight. Hean Samy explained that blind students read and write in Braille, a special way of writing for blind people.
They don’t use a pen or pencil; they use a slate and stylus, but they can write on every kind of paper.
“They can read and write on their own but not the same way as other students do,” Hean Samy said.
Hean Samy knows her students try very hard to learn. She said she is very glad to have the opportunity to teach them. Nowadays, besides teaching, Hean Samy is also working as an inspector at the school.
In the future, she will stop teaching and work solely as an inspector, travelling to the provinces to educate other teachers working there about teaching blind students.