Literacy – Education for deaf students.
Articles,  Blog

Literacy – Education for deaf students.

My name is Martha Mwangu, I am a special
education teacher at Aga Khan Primary School. I’ve been teaching for about 25 years now. The Aga Khan primary school has regular
children and also it has a unit for deaf children. So I teach at the unit for deaf children. Currently I have 12 learners. I have seven girls and five boys and most of
them are between nine and fifteen years. In grade three. This is our fifth year together, so we have kind of created a bond with them in
that lower level you have to be more of a mother so that you will bridge that gap
between home and school. Most of the parents struggle with denial. When the parent comes in there’s a lot of tears and you tell the parent that
“all is going to be okay” but they tell you:
“No, how, it can’t be, what am I going to do?” We tell them no, the child is in the right place I am their teacher, this is the right school for them. You just go home and give me the child. [Instructing the class] …But now when I
am writing on the blackboard you continue practicing this part. I’m going to ask you… Tusome is a Swahili word it tells us “let us read.” So with the Tusome program
with the aim of helping all the children to be able to read to have
those literacy skills It has really helped us because initially maybe
we could teach them a few words We teach them plurals, we teach them simple
sentences but the Tusome program has brought in steps that a teacher can
follow until you reach that point where now the learners are able
to read on their own. Tusome has been a blessing it has opened them up to develop more
interest in reading and wanting to get more information from whatever printed
material that they come across. And in my class also there
is a young girl she has cerebral palsy and also, she’s deaf. So when she came she used to
be carried to class and we also had a bed at the corner of the
class so we could place her there and we could prop her up and she would sit up she could also look and learn, smile and be happy. So through the Tusome activities this girl now is able to read and this reading now has opened
up to the other subjects And right now she is the best student in the class she’s the best reader she writes so well We just look at somebody
who has great potential. So through Tusome the ability of
the children to read and write and do various activities in school we have even enrolled more
parents who want to come in because they have seen that the children can also
benefit in the same kind of program. So I thank Tusome for this literacy part and
I’ll keep on saying that literacy is the most important part in deaf education
the most important thing that we can do if they know how to read and write they
are good to go they can learn the other subjects.

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