South Africa: Basic Education Department Is Neglecting Deaf Learners

posted by / Friday, 31 October 2014 / Published in Life Skills: Articles of interest, News






By: Sonja Boshoff


A reply to a DA parliamentary question has revealed that only 92 teachers of the total number of 1 232 teachers in Schools for the Deaf are qualified in South African Sign Language. The reply also revealed that an additional 127 teachers have received rudimentary training that covers grammatical or linguistic structures of South African Sign Language.

This shortfall cannot be accepted and I will, therefore, be requesting a meeting with the Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshegka and the Chief Director of Inclusive Education, Dr Simelane, to discuss what interventions will be put in place to ensure that these learners are given the education they so desperately need.

Another aspect which is of concern is that of the 30 schools for the deaf, only 15 have the requisite equipment to record learner assessment activities.

This serves to highlight the neglect of children in our education system who are vulnerable. It is a clear indication that these learners are faced with serious backlogs. Not dealing with this severe backlog will only serve to compound the problem and will leave deaf children and children with hearing impairments without the necessary skills to make a living and deal with the everyday challenges faced by the deaf.

The Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, must align her department with the National Development Plan (NDP) and ensure that all South Africans have access to training and education of the highest quality. Only then will education become an important instrument to opening opportunities and the reduction of inequality.

It is vitally important that in the new financial year funds be made available to purchase the necessary equipment for these schools and that more emphasis is placed on teacher training in appropriate sign language.

Link: All Africa