The Nigerian National Association of the Deaf (NNAD) has urged the Anambra Government to add sign language to the curriculum of its primary and secondary schools so as to make educational system more inclusive to deaf students.
Mr Amobi Nwagwu, the Chairman of the Anambra chapter of NNAD, stated this while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Awka.
He also said that it would help deaf and hard-of-hearing students to be able to interact and communicate with their parents, teachers and peers seamlessly.
Nwagwu said that many deaf and hard-of-hearing students dropped out of school because they felt isolated.
He said that the development was reducing deaf children that wanted to acquire formal education but increasing under development and poverty among the deaf community in the state.
“We are advocating the inclusion of sign language to the schools’ curriculum because students who are deaf or struggling to talk are feeling isolated as they cannot communicate with their peers.
“I think teaching sign language in schools will help the deaf students to feel less isolated. They will not see themselves as being different from anyone else.
“Deaf people can do anything normal people do, except hearing. They can excel at all levels of education and employment when they are provided with the education that tends to address their challenges,” he said.
Nwagwu also urged the state government to give school teachers the necessary training on sign language to be able to communicate and teach deaf students in schools.
He said that teaching sign language would also be beneficial to students and others who are not deaf.
“People in such careers as: interpreters, teachers, law enforcement officers and medical personnel will benefit from learning and understanding sign language.
“Also, many employers of labour are more likely to hire qualified applicants who speak more than one language; sign language inclusive,” he said. (NAN)