Sign Language training to achieve inclusive education

By Levison Lester

The Ministry of Education has expressed hope that sign language training, which is currently rolling out across the country, will help to bridge the communication gap between learners with hearing impairments and their teachers in schools.

Speaking on Friday during a progress inspection of the training at Mchinji Teacher’s Training College, Public Relations Officer for the Ministry of Education, Mphatso Nkuonera called upon teachers to utilize the skills and knowledge gained to promote inclusive education.

Public Relations Officer for the Ministry of Education, Mphatso Nkuonera

“This training has been organized by the ministry with support from UNICEF and is targeting 500 specialist teachers in selected districts like Mchinji, Lilongwe, Kasungu, Salima, Dowa, Dedza, Machinga, Mangochi, Chikwawa, Nsanje and Chiradzulu.

Our hope is that these specialist teachers will fully support learners with hearing impairments so that they also excel in their studies. Once learners are equipped with necessary skills, the country will be able to achieve inclusive education,” Nkuonera said.

Nkuonera said sign language training was essential in fostering the Malawi 2063 Agenda, as the knowledge which learners will acquire in various schools will help to address the communication barrier, thereby fostering national development.

In her remarks, one of the instructors at the training, Edna Chigwenembe from Soche Hill Secondary School called upon teachers to establish Sign Language Clubs in their respective schools to equip each other with knowledge on sign language.

“We have asked teachers to incorporate all learners in the formation of these clubs so that they have knowledge on the subject. Such interactions will enable teachers to perform well,” said Chigwenembe.

Speaking on behalf of specialist teachers, Gift Kaunda from Nkhwazi Primary School hailed the ministry for the training, saying amongst other things, they had gained knowledge on sign letters, numerals and words which they will use in their tutorials.