11 Mar Dika College Student: Aspiring to make a difference for special needs children in Madagascar
Aspiring to make a difference for
special needs children in Madagascar
Houssenaly Zahira Fatimah, an international student from Madagascar pursuing the Diploma in Special Education (Early Years) at Dika College, shares how she came to study at Dika College, her experience thus far and her aspirations for the future.
1. Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
A: My name is Houssenaly Zahira Fatimah, an Indian Muslim from Madagascar. I am 21 years old. I studied in a French school until Grade 12. As I took business as an additional subject, I continued with a foundation in commerce at an institution of higher learning in Malaysia.
2. Q: How did you come to study at Dika College?
A: After my foundation in commerce, I was supposed to continue with a degree in business or a degree in early childhood education because I have always loved children. But, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, I had to go back to Madagascar.
Hence, I tried to find an online certificate course in Malaysia that I could do in my hometown. By chance, I discovered a 6-month online course on children with special needs and I decided to enrol for the course.
After the completion of the certificate course, I decided to continue my study in special education. So, I did some research and came across Dika College. Dika College is one of the few institutions that offers special education for children and accepts international students. Its location in Puchong, which is near Subang, is also ideal. I enrolled at Dika in March 2021.
3. Q: How has the course been for you?
A: It’s been online classes and at times, the time difference can be a challenge. I have to be up by 4 am Madagascar time to attend 9 am classes (Malaysian time). But there is no excuse when there is a goal. Besides this, I really enjoyed the classes. My classmates and lecturers are adorable.
4. Q: Tell us a little about Special Needs Education in Madagascar.
A: There are only a few centres for children with special needs in Madagascar. This is the reason why I really want to get my qualification and open my own centre here one day. This is especially so for the Muslim community as there are no centres specialising in special education.
5. Q: What are your aspirations for the future?
A: My family always wanted me to do a course related to medicine or science. I explained to them that I do not like science. I prefer to do something in relation with children. To me, special education is a bridge between both. I educate children by using different techniques suited to their special needs. I hope that every child will have the chance to have a good education.