23 October 2018

Mauritius: Importance of Mauritian Sign Language Highlighted During a Talk

press release

A talk focusing on the different aspects of the Mauritian Sign Language (MSL) was given by Mr Alain Gebert, yesterday at the Octave Wiehe Auditorium in Reduit in presence of the Director (Planning & Budgeting, (including Logistics and Support Services, Extra-Curricular Activities and Special Education Needs), Mr K. Ng Wong Hing, the President of the Society for the Welfare of the Deaf, Dr N. Joonas. Several educators and representatives of different schools attended the talk.

Speaking on behalf of the Minister of Education and Human Resources, Tertiary Education and Scientific Research, Mr K. Ng Wong Hing, underlined that all youngsters irrespective of their disabilities should be given equal opportunities to develop their potential and pursue their educational pathway. The MSL, he highlighted, serves as a driving force for those children with special education needs.

He underscored that persons with disabilities have an essential role to play in the society as they represent perseverance, determination and courage. On this score, he emphasised that Government is committed to upholding the rights of persons with disabilities while adding that the country has ratified the United Nations Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities.

Mr K. Ng Wong Hing further pointed out that more importance should be given to the MSL with a view to enhancing the learning process of children with disabilities. The Ministry, he emphasised, is engaged in providing the necessary support to help children address their individual differences in an effective way.

For her part, Dr N. Joonas, highlighted that much emphasis should be laid on the need to create an enabling environment for the development of the child, hence encouraging an inclusive education system. She underpinned that the learning of sign language should be facilitated for hearing impaired children and should be delivered in an appropriate manner by dedicated instructors, thereby encouraging these children to succeed in their endeavours.

She also underlined that the key role of the Society for the Welfare of the Deaf, since 1968, is to cater to the well-being of deaf persons while fostering an equitable society. Several facilities including parental guidance, pre-primary, primary and pre-vocational classes, audiology and hearing aids to speech therapy, sign language classes and ear mould making, among others, are also offered to the hearing impaired community.

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