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Deaf Association calls for deaf-friendly curriculum for deaf learners

The Ghanaian National Association of the Deaf (GNAD) has called on the Ministry of Education through the Ghana Education Service to provide deaf learners with a deaf-friendly curriculum.

Mr Matthew Kubacha, President of the Association, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, on the celebration of the International Day of Sign Languages, said deaf students needed a curriculum that was favourable and responded to their needs.

The International Day of Sign Languages, commemorated globally on 23 September every year, is to raise awareness of the importance of sign language for the full realisation of the human rights of deaf people.

This year’s celebration is on the theme: “Sign Languages Unite Us.”

Mr Kubacha said the use of a suitable curriculum for deaf learners had dire consequences on their education and examinations. Some parts of the Ghanaian education curriculum demanded learners to be able to use sounds to understand and learn.

“How do you expect deaf students to write the same examinations as the hearing when certain parts of the curriculum demand that a person must understand certain aspects of speech?” He asked.

The President attributed that challenge to the fact that sign language was not recognised in the country, saying Sign Language was not given serious attention because of its status.

Mr Kubacha noted that while many trained deaf graduates who completed Universities and Colleges had not been posted to teach deaf children, some teachers posted to deaf schools had challenges mastering the Sign Language.

The President added that, where teachers lacked understanding of the Ghanaian Sign Language, they could not effectively convey course and curriculum content to deaf students.

He said some deaf people were jobless because society felt that they were incapable, as employers were reluctant to employ them due to doubt regarding their capabilities.

Mr Kubacha said it was worrying to observe that the deaf was excluded in family and society engagements as well as Government policies.

“Our families and communities do not involve us in meetings and activities because they think that since we cannot hear, we cannot do anything.” Mr Kubacha said.

The President appealed to public institutions to include them in the design and sharing of information to make their lives easy.

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