Silent march

Source:Global Times Published: 2015-10-11 17:28:01

Over 120 students from the Guiyang School for the Deaf and Blind in Guizhou Province participated in a special week-long military training session this September, with the help of soldiers from Guizhou's Armed Police Frontier Corps.

It was quiet for a military training drill - no one yelled an order, but students marched on the spot, stood at attention and changed formation. In front of them, a drill instructor waved his hands in rhythm, as if he was conducting an orchestra.

In China, first-year high school students and college freshmen are required to undergo military training in order to improve their sense of patriotism, team spirit and perseverance. During the training, students need to attend lectures on national defense and practice marching drills.

While the training is famous for its harshness, it's even more difficult for those with visual, listening and speaking impairments. To train the students, the young soldiers from the frontier corps learned sign language beforehand from the school's teachers. They are also each equipped with a notebook, and when their vocabulary of sign language isn't enough, they will ask a student to help them translate their orders.

The school has been carrying out the training in cooperation with the frontier corps since 2004, and is one of the few special schools in the country that do so. "When we were communicating with these students, they expressed the wish to undergo military training just like their peers. So we arranged the special training for them," an official of the frontier corps said.

Xiaoyong, a student with a hearing impairment, participated in the training. "Even though I can't hear, we can understand the coach's sign language. I did what other people can do, it just took me more time," he said.

Global Times

A drill instructor orders students to align themselves with sign language. Photo: CFP

A student helps a drill instructor translate his orders. Photo: CFP

A formation of girls marches on the playground during a military inspection on the final day of the training. Photo: CFP

An instructor talks to a student in sign language during a break. Photo: CFP

A row of girls march forward during a daily drill. Photo: CFP

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