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Accepted at Last

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Accepted at Last Zaiheen Mohammed with mum Zariah Shafia Nisha at Madhuvani Sangam Primary School in Rakiraki, Ra, on May 9, 2018. Photo: Peni Komaisavai

Zaiheen Mohammed, 11, with a rare brain condition, has always wanted to join other children in a normal school.

But his application for enrolment was rejected because the schools did not have the capacity to have him.

Yesterday his 34-year-old mother, Zaria Shafia Nisha, was full of joy after Zaiheen was accepted by Madhuvani Sangam Primary School in Ra.

She thanked the Government and Australia for the $6.1 million package that allowed 12 schools damaged by Tropical Cyclone Winston to be rebuilt. It gave Madhuvani Sangam Primary School the capacity to accept wheelchair bound Zaiheen through new access ramps and more spacious rooms.

A happy Ms Nisha said: “Equal education opportunities and to be able to learn and study with the rest of the kids was all he ever wanted.”

Zaiheen Mohammed was diagnosed with hydrocephalus since birth.

The symptoms are the build-up of fluid in the cavities deep within the brain whereas the excess fluid increases the size of the ventricles and puts pressure on the brain.

Zaiheen was diagnosed after he was born prematurely at seven months, and has had two surgeries to his head since then.

“We have been looking for a school for him for years, but none opened their doors and we had lost all hope in finding him a school until we met Madhuvani Sangam Primary School head teacher Hemish Chandra,” Ms Nisha said.

According to Ms Nisha, her son was beginning to feel lonely at home because his brothers had gone to school leaving him behind.

“One can only see how he was bored. He was at home and it is a heart-breaking thing for a parent to see their child go through that,” she said.

“To learn and study in a normal school, that in itself is really a blessing for us as a family and for our little miracle Zaiheen.”

Their son is currently enrolled as a grade one student, given the years he stayed home and missing out on school.

“We are thankful to school management for this opportunity and also to the government for their inclusive policy in education,” she said.

Now, according to Ms Nisha despite being confined to a wheel chair her son gets picked up from their home just two kilometres away from the school, from neighbours with cars and always finds a friend in his colleagues who go out of their way just to help him out around the school.

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