Tanzania: Sign Language Education to Get Push, Bunge Told

IN efforts to achieve inclusive education, the provision of sign language education would soon start from primary to secondary schools.

According to Deputy Minister of Education, Science and Education, Mr Omar Kipanga, the ministry has a strategy to make the schools provide the sign language education.

"We would also ensure that we produce enough teachers for teaching the sign language in our schools," Mr Kipanga said when informing the National Assembly over the new development.

So far, there are 14 primary schools and 25 secondary schools that offer sign language education.

The deputy minister stated this in response to question from Dr Stephen Kiruswa (Longido-CCM), who asked on whether the government does not see an importance of making sign language as one of mandatory subjects from primary schools in order to remove communication barrier between deaf people and people without hearing problems.

Mr Kipanga said the government was aware of importance of sign language in addressing communication gap.

However, in order to reach a decision of introducing sign language subject in all education levels, the government has already taken various steps.

Among steps taken include the completion of standardisation of sign language dictionary and preparation of the guideline for implementation of curriculum for O'level education for deaf students.

In the same line, through the Patandi Teacher's College and the University of Dodoma, special teachers for teaching deaf students are being trained.

The textbooks for teaching sign language are in both English and Kiswahili languages in order to meet the teaching and learning purposes, he said.

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