Malawi: Government Intends to Establish Sign Language Clubs in Schools

Government has disclosed its intentions to establish SignLanguage clubs in schools to increase equitable access to quality and relevant education.

Ministry of Education Principal Secretary for Basic Education, Rachel Chimbwete Phiri, made the remarks on Tuesday in Mponela during the first phase of training primary and secondary school teachers as Trainer of Trainers for Malawi SignLanguage organized with support from Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA).

She said in its efforts to achieve the education for all agenda as per the Malaŵi 2063 vision, the ministry finds it imperative to promote inclusion of deaf learners through the use of signlanguage in schools during the teaching and learning process to address the communication barrier.

“This initiative of training trainers of trainers for Malawi SignLanguage demonstrates the full commitment of the ministry in its endeavour towards the achievement of the ambitions expressed in the Sustainable Development Goal number 4 as well as in the Malawi 2063,” she said.

Phiri believed that the establishment of the clubs Clubs in schools will among other promote the use of Malawi SignLanguage in schools as well as in the country as a whole, equip teachers with knowledge and skills for effective communication with deaf learners.

The clubs will also Increase equitable access to learning by deaf learners that would lead to improved individual learner achievement, and bridge the communication gap between hearing people (teachers and learners) and deaf learners.

The clubs will promote Inclusive Education practices in the teaching and learning process as well as in different social activities taking place in the schools, she said.

Phiri added that participants will learn Malawi SignLanguagein addition to approaches on how to use MalawiSignLanguage in the teaching and learning process.

Consequently, she said, Malawi SignLanguage will be advocated as one of the strategic ways of promoting Inclusive Education in the country saying this would lead to strengthened dialogue and the spirit of cooperation and collaboration towards promoting the education of the deaf among stakeholders at policy making and policy practicing levels.

MACRA Director General Daud Suleman said he believes that the formation of the clubs will make more people exposed to Malawi SignLanguage.

“Through these trainings we are going to get a bigger pool of those that can do signlanguage interpretation in the country,” he said.

Suleman said Malawians should begin embracing signlanguageas one of the nationallanguages.