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PROVING THEMSELVES: Sixteen mentally-challenged teenagers receive motorcycle driving licences
ALOR STAR: MOHAMAD Hafiz Mardzuki has always dreamt of owning a motorcycle.
He said he enjoys riding pillion but had always wanted to be behind the handlebars.
But as he is a slow learner, the 17-year-old student was told that he would never be allowed to ride a motorcycle.
However, thanks to a joint effort by the state Road Transport Department and Kota Setar District Education Office, Hafiz is now the proud owner of a motorcycle.
Under the programme, slow learners and those with learning disabilities are given personal coaching, inside and out of the classroom, by special trainers.
Hafiz now rides to school with a younger sibling and he also takes his mother to the market.
"I am just very happy. I cannot read and write as well as normal people but I can now own and operate a motorcycle, said Hafiz who among 16 mentally-challenged teenagers who received their motorcycle driving licences.
Mohamad Faiz Salim, 17, said driving instructors from Ilmu Baru Sdn Bhd were very helpful.
"They were very patient with me and my friends.
"We may be slow learners, but we are now able to ride motorcycles," he said.
Mohamad Nazri Zukeply, 31, who teaches special students at SMK Kubang Rotan had asked the government agencies to provide a special motorcycle driving course for secondary school students.
The agencies responded by starting the pilot programme in March last year.
Some 20 students from six schools were chosen.
"Our youngsters may be slow learners but they have proven that they can do many of the things that a normal person can do," said Nazri