Inspiring Students At Wangsel Institute For The Deaf In Bhutan To ‘Speak Through Art’

Email

Hiroko Masuda, a Japanese volunteer teaches art to deaf children.

Students displaying their artworks. (Source: Facebook/Wangsel Institute for the Deaf)

 

By Staff Reporter | Kuensel

The small hallway of the Wangsel Institute in Paro is quiet. The only noise comes from the footsteps of teachers climbing the wooden stairs. For people who love art, this is the perfect place to be.

Paper art, painting and paper crafts greet visitors as one enter the premises. Hiroko Masuda, a Japanese volunteer is a teacher here. She teaches art to deaf children. Two young students greet her at the top of the stairs. They hand over their work. Masuda hugs them and signals them for a photograph.

 

Ms Hiroko Masuda sets up her students’ works

for display as a guest looks on.


Source: Facebook/Wangsel Institute for the Deaf

 

“They love drawing,” says Masuda as she commends the students’ artwork, made as gifts for their parents when they break for winter vacation.

Challenges faced by Hiroko Masuda

If teaching art is difficult, teaching it to the hearing impaired children is even more challenging. But Masuda is enjoying her work. “Most of the students are interested in art,” she said.

Masuda knows sign language, but the problem is that the Japanese sign language is different from the Bhutanese sign language, which the Wangsel students are familiar with.

“When communication is bad, students lose concentration,” she explained. But the volunteer has a solution. She asks Bhutanese teachers to help her communicate in sign language.

 

 

Students learn via sign language at the Wangsel Institute for the Deaf.

Source: Facebook/Wangsel Institute for the Deaf

 

Masuda’s colleague, Nidup helps her communicate with the students and the two teachers conduct joint teaching sessions.

Nidup says that the sign language they use at the institute was developed by researchers at the institute with the help of a Thai linguist.

The institute also has an art club, but it has no dedicated art teacher except for an instructor for traditional painting.

How Hiroko Masuda trained her students to produce creative artworks

“Masuda has been very helpful. She is experienced and came with a lot of ideas to engage students. Students look forward to her classes.”

The volunteer is also proud of her students who are becoming more creative. She is skilled at drawing the attention of those who are not interested and she makes art fun by engaging them in artwork that involves action.

“The boys now love to make paper football and Sumo wrestling,” she said with pride.

The works of the students are displayed on the notice board. One can find paper Sumo wrestlers, characters from children’s storybooks, magical doors and pop-up cards, to name a few.

 

Source: Facebook/Wangsel Institute for the Deaf

 

“There is a sense of competition among the students,” said Masuda.

The volunteer believes that art improves the imagination of children and their creativity skills. When asked to draw on their own, Masuda said that most students drew villages, mountains, prayer flags and chortens.

“This shows that they miss their village,” she said. All the students stay at the institute’s hostels.

Masuda, who will return to Japan next year, said that she fell in love with Bhutan.

“It is a very colourful country, well suited for the artist,” she said.

“The traditional art on buildings, the lhakhangs and dzongs are very beautiful.”

On the importance of art, the volunteer said that it could come in handy for the hearing impaired children.

“Other students could excel in subjects like science and maths, but for the hearing impaired, they need skills together with these subjects. Art is one.”

 

This article first appeared in kuensel  and has been edited for the Daily Bhutan.


Related Posts

Japanese Volunteers Taught Football Skills To Some Young Monks...

Held on World Children’s Day on 20 November, the programme was spearheaded by the Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers...

Nov 24, 2018 06:06

Japanese Students Impressed With Charm And Communal Spirit Of...

A week away from their gadgets and highly networked world, the students said that the trip has given them a chance to...

Oct 01, 2018 16:31

My Green School – Book By Bhutanese Educator Thakur S Powdyel,...

Professor Miwako Hosoda believes that ‘My Green School’ will be of much interest to students, educators and researchers.

Dec 02, 2018 09:31

Catch Exciting Film Screenings, Cultural And Sports Events At...

The ambassador of Japan to Bhutan, Kenji Hiramatsu is hopeful that ‘Japan Week’ will prove beneficial in promoting...

Dec 04, 2018 20:15

Bhutan Received 71,417 International Visitors In 2017; Singapore,...

In 2017, Bhutan received 71,417 international visitors and the revenue earned was USD 79m, the highest arrival and...

Dec 03, 2018 11:25

Japanese Language and Judo Centres to be Established in Bhutan

At the meeting with Lyonchhen Tshering Tobgay in Tokyo, the Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe said that Japan would...

Apr 19, 2018 00:21

Latest

News

Ten Years Since The Inception Of Democracy, Bhutan Has Made Steady Progress In Human Development

The National Human Development Report highlights positive results during ten years of democracy in Bhutan.

Mar 21, 2019 15:08

Tiger Numbers Increase In Bhutan

As the world tries to double tiger number from where it was in 2010, Bhutan’s increase in tiger numbers shows that at least one country is...

Mar 19, 2019 14:18

Features

National Geographic Photo Camp Team Trained Some Bhutanese On Story-telling Through Photography

Around twenty participants were trained on story-telling through photography at a photo camp from 9-14 March.

Mar 23, 2019 16:08

Bhutan Addressed Climate Change Concerns With Foreign Delegates At The 14th Round Table Meeting

Prime Minister Dr. Lotay Tshering said at the Round Table Meeting that climate change is real and efforts must be made to reduce its impact.

Mar 22, 2019 18:45

Sports

Bhutan To Hold First 'Sports And Culture Festival' For Runners And Cyclists

There are two tiers to the event, comprising of a full-race distance of 50km and a half-race of 25km.

Mar 06, 2019 17:14

Bhutan’s HRH Princess Eeuphelma Choden Wangchuck Attended The General Assembly of the Asian Paralympic Committee In Dubai

The General Assembly is the highest decision making body of the Asian Paralympic Movement.

Feb 08, 2019 18:15

Business

Celebrating Bhutan's Entrepreneurs: Sonam Lhamo Of Bumthang Milk Processing Enterprise

This story is part of an exclusive feature by Yeewong Magazine in Dec 2018 on celebrating entrepreneurship in Bhutan.

Mar 18, 2019 10:19

Need For More Women Entrepreneurs To Partake In Bhutan’s Economic Development

The 2018 Global Gender Gap Report has ranked Bhutan 122nd out of 149 countries on a global index.

Mar 14, 2019 20:54

Travel

Tourists Visiting Bhutan Can Look Forward To Exciting Heli-Biking And Heli-Hiking Services

Heli-Biking and Heli-Hiking services are in the pipeline to attract more tourists to visit the remote parts of Bhutan.

Mar 20, 2019 20:18

50 Years Since The Renovation Of Tashichhodzong - Fortress Of The Glorious Religion In Bhutan

In the fifty years since its renovation, the Tashichhodzong remains an architectural marvel.

Mar 17, 2019 11:08

Lifestyle

Food Review: Cloud9 Cafe & Bar

Cloud9 has always been known in Thimphu for dishing out handcrafted gourmet burgers.

Mar 09, 2019 09:44

Tshering Zangmo Represents Bhutan At The 5th Young Chef Olympiad In India

Tshering Zangmo has successfully made it to round two of the Olympiad.

Feb 04, 2019 16:35

Subscribe to our newsletter

Never miss out on new happenings and news stories!