Two FALE students with disabilities achieve their dreams and graduate

Two students with disabilities realised their dreams and graduated from the Faculty of Arts, Law and Education (FALE) this month.
Nazia Shah, who has hearing impairment since birth and Vimlesh Naidu, who has partial hearing and visual impairment were elated to receive their certificates this week from the Dean of FALE, Dr Akanisi Kedrayate.
Nazia graduated with a Diploma in Special and Inclusive Education and was a recipient of the USP Regional Disability Scholarship.
She resides in Ba with her husband and three kids. She said her dream has always been to further her studies despite her disability from a very young age and her parents have always motivated her.
The 38-year-old, originally from Nawaka, Nadi said that she has faced a lot of obstacles in life due to her disability.
“Communicating with people was difficult for me in the beginning but with the help of interpreters, I was able to learn a lot and prosper in life,” she said.
“My husband who is also hearing impaired has supported me throughout and motivated me to further my studies and help other children with disability.”
Nazia is currently a teacher at Ba Special Need School and plans to continue her journey in the school.
“I want to help children to learn sign language, encourage them to complete studies and inspire other special need students,” she said.
Vimlesh Naidu, originally from Labasa, graduated with a Bachelors in Special and Inclusive Education on 24 September. He is currently a teacher at Labasa Special School and plans to continue working at the school as he wants to help other students with disabilities.
 “One of my foremost goals is to advocate abilities in disabilities for children with special needs. I want to continue advocating and create public awareness relating to disabled students,” he said.
Vimlesh said that it took him 9 years to complete his studies because of personal commitments. He dedicated his success to his wife who has supported him throughout his journey.
He said his biggest motivation is the students he teaches.
“My students have different abilities and seeing how they excel keeps me motivated and helps me to move forward in life despite any obstacles,” he said.
He said that all hopes of furthering his education would have ended if USP FALE had not given him an opportunity.
He extended his appreciation to the interpreters at USP for guidance and his family and friends for the continuous support.
Vimlesh said that he enjoyed studying at USP as it offers the best education and he plans to continue studies as soon as he gets the right opportunity.
Dr Akanisi Kedrayate, congratulated all the six graduates. She said that it was a very wonderful moment for FALE, especially those that graduated from the inclusive programmes. “We are so proud of the six graduates,” she said.
The School of Education teaches courses in special and inclusive education in ways that draw upon current thinking, best practice and international research in this field whilst acknowledging the importance of the best of our cultural traditions and their contribution to learning in the Pacific.
The suite of Special and Inclusive Education Courses was developed to better align with this perspective as well as to establish much stronger integration with the objectives of the various      B. Ed programmes within the School of Education.
The offerings are closely aligned to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, especially Goal # 4 on Quality Education (UNESCO, 2015).
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