THE Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education and the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare are planning to teach all teachers in the country sign language.
The deputy Minister in the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, Mr Tongesai Muzenda, said the ministry had printed books that had instructions on how to sign.
“The ministry has printed handbooks on how to communicate using sign language. We have given the Ministry of Education the pamphlets which they will distribute accordingly,” he said.
He said that the move was meant to encourage teachers and help those that taught in special schools to be equipped with skills in interpreting and communicating using sign language effectively.
The director of Social Services in the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, Mr Sydney Mhishi, said the ministry had printed books in sign language but that was not enough as they needed to conduct practical lessons.
“So far we have printed some books and pamphlets in sign language. The only thing that is left is for the responsible ministries to continue with the programme as books are not enough,” he said.
He said the Ministry of Labour was doing the same for the Ministry of Health as nurses were to learn how to use sign language when communicating with patients.
He, however, mentioned that the venture was going to be costly as very few people in the country were accustomed to sign language.
“It is true that deaf students are not being assisted enough to pass examinations. The situation can be corrected if more teachers are drilled in basic sign language,” he said.
The Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Cde Lazarus Dokora, said they were doing everything to ensure that every teacher in his ministry was equipped with skills to teach and communicate with disabled pupils.
“We as a ministry are looking forward to completing the task at hand, sign language is important as we have deaf children in our society and they need to learn,” he said.