Students use music, art to communicate
A school for children with disabilities are using music and art to communicate with their teachers.
Students at Aoga Fiamalamalama School performed dance and music items as part of their literacy programs for parents, relatives and friends last Friday.
Their performance focused on literacy, communication and self-expression.
School principal Sharon Suhren said students become active learners when they engage through music and dance, and these are ways to enable communication between teachers and with fellow students.
“This is why we are pushing the students to actually participate in the learning process and emphasise to them to build up a purpose,” she said.
Emphasising the importance of knowing a child’s disability, the principal said this will enable the teacher to identify areas that they will have to focus on in the student’s education.
Samoan and English are the two main subjects taught in the school and sign language was integrated into the curriculum for students with hearing problems.
“We are encouraging the sign language in the school because there are children who still can’t communicate. They are vocal but can’t express themselves so that someone could understand. We have to build some ways to communicate,” she added.
The teachers encourage their students to speak and not rely solely on sign language.
“We really encourage them, we want them to speak and not only rely on sign language. What we are trying to do is making sure that they do understand the intention of others and their expressions.”
The Aoga Fiamalamala School has students from the ages of six to 21, who are organized in groups according to their abilities.