Not long ago, I visited the vocational training school for persons with disabilities for the coverage of their life in the run-up to the national day of persons with disabilities (June 18).
Teacher Rim Kum Hyok told me that the two-year school is aimed at teaching the persons with disabilities in the capital city of Pyongyang various technical skills so that they can lead a public life with their own occupations like the able-bodied.
Its subjects include information device control technology, carpentry, hair-dressing, beauty culture, garment processing, etc. Most of its students are the deaf, blind and physically-handicapped persons.
The school has graduated several batches of students. It pays much attention to helping its students acquire practical knowledge applicable in society.
Its graduates are now working in various sectors of society, including the Korean Art Association of the Disabled, the Korean Sports Association of the Disabled, IT exchange companies, vehicle repair shops and garment factories.
“Practice rooms arranged according to major subjects serve as important places indispensable for students to consolidate the knowledge they learned in lessons,” said Rim, guiding me to the carpenter’s room.
Woodworks produced by students there are winning public favour for their delicacy and artistic quality.
The school has other laboratories for hair-dressing, beauty culture and garment processing.
When I entered a teachers office, Pak Se Il in his thirties was practicing sign language in front of a mirror.
He said: Communication is the most important in teaching deaf students. Therefore, I should be well versed in sign language in order to transfer the techniques to them.
Not only Pak but all other teachers were making devoted efforts to help students possess high technical skills.
Some graduates from the school receive online education of Kim Il Sung University and Kim Hyong Jik University of Education.
As I left the school, I recalled an article of the Law of the DPRK on the Protection of the Person with Disability, which stipulates that the State respects the personality of the person with disability and shall provide the same socio-political right, freedom and interests to the person with disability as the healthy citizen.
Pak Kum Song