The head of a centre for deaf youth in Solomon Islands says many of his students, who are aged between 15 and 25, have never been to school before.
George van der Sant started the San Isidro Care Centre at Aruligo, 25 kilometres north of the capital, Honiara, six years ago.
He says the thousands of deaf people in his country are often in remote rural areas, hidden away and shunned by their communities.
"Some of them have never gone to school, never gone to school, are completely neglected in the village, some have to make fun about them and things like that. This is a whole new education and things are going in a good way."
George van der Zant says his students learn sign language, English, mathematics, home economics, woodwork and agriculture.
He says the school is largely self-supporting through the sale of crops tended by the students.