Debbie, 17 used the big calculator in front of her as she calculated the price of items that a ‘customer’ bought while her teacher Nur’ Asyikin Ahmed, watched over her carefully.
The total amount for the vegetables, peanuts and ice-creams purchased came up to RM43 and the ‘customer’ handed over RM50 note to her.
“So how much is the balance?” Nur’ Asyikin asked Debbie.
“Seven,” she replies and everyone around her claps.
The scene is set at Taarana school for children with special needs where a variety of products including vegetables from their aquaponic garden, homemade ice-cream, peanuts and soft drinks were sold at a Valentine’s Day bazaar. The students from Taarana’s upper academic programme played the role of cashiers and promoters under the supervision of their teachers.
Nur’ Asyikin who teachers the upper academic programme at Taarana explains that by getting the students to pack and set up the items, and play an active role in the sales, they learn communication and social integration skills.
“They will have something to talk about when they go back home today,” she added.
One of the ‘customers’ was Debbie’s mother, Lydia Ramos.
“I am happy to see her as a cashier today. Debbie has shown great progress in her counting, writing, and reading skills.Thanks to Taarana, she comprehends simple instructions. She is much calmer and no longer throws tantrums as much as before,” she said.