Teachers train in sign language

FIFTY secondary school teachers from four districts are expecting to better engage and help hearing-impaired students after they acquired sign language skills.

FIFTY secondary school teachers from four districts are expecting to better engage and help hearing-impaired students after they acquired sign language skills.

The educators are attending a one-week intensive training course organised by Handicap International, an international organisation which champions, among others, the rights of disabled children.

The course, which kicked off last Monday, seeks to empower the teachers with basic knowledge on sign language to enable them to further assist students with hearing and speaking disabilities.

Rosine Uwisize, a teacher at Groupe Scolaire Karugarika located in Rutsiro, Western province, told The New Times that she has been facing difficulties in addressing students with hearing impairment.

“Sometimes I thought [hearing-impaired] students understood what I taught them while that was not the case,” she said. “Because I couldn’t sign, I used to come up with my own signs, which sometimes they failed to understand.”

David Kagina, a teacher from Kamonyi, Southern Province, said lack of the skills affected the academic performance of the hearing-impaired students.

Targeted schools

He said now that they have acquired sign language skills, they will better assist the students.

“Communication between teachers and the students will be enhanced,” he said.

Hortense Umuhoza, the officer of community mobilisation at Handicap International-Rwanda, told this paper that the training targets teachers from schools that incorporate disabled students as part of their inclusive education programme.

It targeted teachers from Kamonyi, Muhanga, Rustiro and Gasabo districts, where the NGO’s inclusive education project is being implemented.

She said: “Disabled students require special attention and assistance. This course will contribute towards that end.”

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