"I claim my right to an education"
A blog by Gebrekiros Tekaye
My name is Gebrekiros and I am 19 years old. My journey has not always been easy, and I had to fight for the right to learn like other students. I want to tell my story so that people's views change, and they realise that young people with disabilities like me can learn and integrate into society if we are given the opportunity.
The first time I went to school, I was expelled after a few weeks because my teacher didn't understand me and said that I was too slow and that it disrupted the class. I was very sad because I love learning. However, I refused to give up, bought my exercise books myself and begged my grandmother to enroll me in another school.
At Adi Haki Primary School I met with the headmaster. He told me that I was welcome and that I would receive support from Halamsaye, a special needs teacher who is specially trained to facilitate my learning. Every week she used to give me extra hours of tutoring so that I can keep up with the rest of my class.
"I want people to understand that, despite our difference, we are able to study like other young people."
My other teachers and classmates have also been made aware of my situation and I have even made some friends with whom I play and learn after school. Everything was going well but unfortunately, my school closed because of the coronavirus and then the conflict. Since then I've been sitting at home doing nothing, so now I can't wait for my school to reopen and classes to resume.
On the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, I want people to understand that, despite our difference, we are able to study like other young people. I am now in grade 6. I like learning and thanks to school I can have a normal life, friends and even a future. So I will never give up despite the challenges until I reach my goal: becoming a doctor to heal people.'