Jakarta. “Tiada mata, tak hilang cahaya.” (‘Without sight, there is still light’).
This is the famous motto of Raudlatul Makfufin, an Islamic boarding school for the blind and visually challenged in Serpong, South Tangerang.
After a year of a pandemic-related closure, the school finally welcomed back its students.
On Wednesday, students spent their day practicing the regular school curriculum. They learnt about science, musical instruments, and even practiced body massage. But most importantly, they learnt how to recite the holy verses of Koran in braille — a tactile writing system for the visually impaired.
It takes up to two years for their fingertips to be sensitive enough to distinguish the letters. And to speed up the learning process, everyone has to join a Koran recital or tadarus, everyday during ramadan. After performing the noon prayer, students would move their fingers over the dotted patterns as they recite the religious text.
But Raudlatul Makfufin does not only teach people how to read the Koran in braille. The boarding school also produces braille Koran, which they have exported to Singapore and South Africa.
Back in 1990, they received massive donations to purchase Braille embossers. The school committee then used these embossers to set up a printing press to produce braille Koran.