Botswana: Environment Ministry Services Beneficial to Hearing Impaired

Gaborone — The Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism provides opportunities which could benefit people such as the deaf community.

Presenting toiletries to Ramotswa Junior Secondary School deaf and hearing impaired learners recently, the minister, Ms Philda Kereng said the ministry offered services which impacted lives of learners, teachers, support staff and the Ramotswa community.

Apart from the donation, the interaction was also aimed at enlightening the deaf about the ministry's services, she explained.

Ms Kereng said although the country had made strides is its development trajectory, there were still the unfortunate and under privileged community members.

She said such people should not be forgotten especially since the country was on a path to build a more inclusive economy.

Minister Kereng applauded the school's determination in managing disability issues.

With 37 hearing impaired pupils and inadequate resources, .the school management was doing everything possible to make ends meet, she said.

The school head, Mr Sabata Tlhaselo said due to shortage of resources, learners with hearing impairment were taught the same syllabus as their mainstream counterparts.

Nonetheless, they had been performing satisfactorily, judging by their progression rate to senior school, she said.

Meanwhile, the Director of Botswana Association for the Deaf, Ms Shirley Keoagile has said communication between people with hearing impairment and the mainstream community was still a challenge.

She regretted that there had not been enough efforts to address teaching and examining of deaf learners using sign language.

As a result, most deaf learners performed below par and struggled to find employment after completing their education.

Ms Keoagile said the deaf community was not catered for in the tourism sector resulting in the country missing opportunities for hosting hearing impaired tourists.

<i>Source : BOPA</i>

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