Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Apologies aplenty...

....for not posting sooner.

I have been caught up in a flurry of activities recently. Last week, I attended a 2day Civil Society Roundtable on education. I went along out of pure curiosity because it is a badly kept secret that deaf education in NGR was worse than rubbish. And I was hoping to draw some attention to that.

Two other deaf people attended and a sign language intepreter came along to provide intepretation services. On the 2nd day, I specifically asked the convener that we be placed right on the front row and so it happened! (**mental note to self- be more demanding**) I don't know but the paper presenters (who were heads of various government parastatals on education) delivered papers in such a way that the audience if they didn't know better would think that all's well in the education arena. We took advantage of our seating position to ask the presenters questions. They typically replied in a roundabout way without giving a definitive answer.

I feel extremely sorry for the deaf young people who may not afford an alternative to the "blockheads". I wish that there is something that I could do apart from raising awareness. Just earlier on today, I bumped into an old secondary schoolmate,R who is a proprietress of a nursery/primary school. She was uber-excited to see me as she needed some advice for a 3year old deaf child's parents. This lady uses the Montesorri method of teaching in her school and she was able to find out that the child who was then attending the school had some problems which necessitated referral to a hospital. Turns out the child is deaf and sad parents had to withdraw her from school.

I was glad that R was honest with the parents and did her job diligently. Well, what was the advice I gave given her situation? Get the parents to learn sign language along with the girl to establish early communication. And (hoping very hard) that the parents get some specialised help at home for the child until she goes to school at the age of 5(which was the minimum age of entry in a local deaf school). As it turns out, the parents are not able to afford that type of help.

The big question would be: how is this child going to develop? And become a valuable member of her society. Hmmm,it is possible...with tons and tons of support.

So now I am going to be shouting from the rooftop 'What about the DEAF girl child?' Can you help me increase the volume of 'my' voice?

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