Special needs pupils find joy playing with big ‘toys’

A SK Taman Desa Skudai pupil (left) being taught how to control the model plane at the event in Tanjung Senibong.

A group of special needs pupils found joy in learning to control a model plane.

The SK Taman Desa Skudai pupils were invited by the Aerofly Johor RC Club for the Malaysia-Singapore F3K event, which is being held for the first time in Malaysia, at Tanjung Senibong near Pasir Gudang.

School headmaster Mohd Tuahfik Ithnin said the 16 special needs pupils were aged between eight and 12 years old.

“The pupils are either autistic or born with Down Syndrome, and are in the special education class.

“It is such a meaningful experience for them to be able to play with a radio-controlled device and fly model planes. For them, this is the first time that they are able to control something in their lives,” he added.

Mohd Tuahfik said the pupils were unlike normal children, hence the experience of flying model planes was special as it helped them build self-confidence.

“Their faces lit up when flying the model planes and being able to control the aircraft in the sky.

“This gives them the confidence they need to communicate with their trainers and for a chance to do things like normal children,” he said.

Mohd Tuahfik thanked the organisers and companies involved for giving the pupils the opportunity to fly model planes.

“Hopefully, the chance to fly model planes will be made available to other special needs children from other schools so they, too, can learn from the experience,” he added.

Aerofly Johor RC Club president Keliwan Misran said the club has been actively promoting model planes to schools around the state to help promote the sport among the younger generation.

“We have a buddy system where a student gets to handle a radio control unit alongside a trainer.

“The pupils, including special needs children, are taught how to control the model planes from take off to landing.

“This programme has been well supported by the schools and parents,” he added.

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