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Deaf Schools Stuck With Self-Study Materials

Pius Oketcho, the headteacher of Mulago School for the deaf says the school received copies of home learning materials for the upper primary classes however, the school cannot give out these textbooks to the learners. He explains that there are no interpreters at home to help the deaf understand the content.
study materials for the deaf on shelf

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Deaf schools are stuck with the self-study materials that were provided by the government to facilitate the continuity of learning during the lockdown.

The government has so far invested worth 82.5 Billion Shillings to develop and distribute home-study materials for the learners.

Unlike majority of the learners, who can read and also be able to interpret for themselves, deaf students require an interpreter to aid learning.

Pius Oketcho, the headteacher of Mulago School for the deaf says the school received copies of the materials for the upper primary classes however, the school cannot distribute them to the learners. He explains that there are no interpreters at home to help the deaf understand the content.

He also says that the copies issued to the school are not enough for each learner to receive a copy. Oketcho explains that the school which has 27 learners, received 20 copies.

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Juliet Mary Tumuhairwe, the headteacher of Ntinda School for the Deaf says giving out the home learning materials to their deaf and hearing impaired learners makes no sense.

She notes that without a sign language interpreter the learners cannot utilize the materials.   Tumuhairwe explains that many parents of children with hearing difficulties do not know the sign language.

According to Tumuhairwe the school received seven copies of books for each of the two classes of 32 and 26  learners which are inadequate.

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Dr Dennis Mugimba, the Spokesperson Ministry of Education says that the ministry lacks funds to provide copies of the study materials for each special needs learner. 

Mugimba says the government can only afford to supply 121 Special Needs Education schools. 

Alex Ndeezi, the Member of Parliament representing the Persons with Disabilities says that many parents and guardians cannot give enough support to the learners to understand even when the self-study materials are availed.

‘’It can be challenging to teach a hearing-impaired child effectively without adequate tools or training and this is why many parents cannot take over the role of a teacher when it comes to the deaf students”, says Ndeezi

Robinah Tendo, a mother of a deaf child at Mulago School for the deaf says during the first lockdown, she was told to collect the study materials, but she refused because she is ignorant about sign language and can’t support her daughter.

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