Sign language is likely to become compulsory for all learners in Botswana if what the Assistant Minister of Education and Skills Development Keletso Rakhudu said is anything to go by.
When officially opening the sign language interpreter training workshop last week, Rakhudu said that it is time sign language got recognition just like any other subject and be taught in schools something.
“Students should be taught sign language for easy communication and I will make sure that the little resources that are available in our coffers are shared by all to make this a realiy,” he said.
He said that a sign language resource book for teachers is being developed with the aim of improving quality of education and also making it possible for the hearing impaired children to access tertiary education.
Rakhudu said other countries in the region like Zambia, Malawi, Zimbabwe and South Africa were far much ahead of Botswana in teaching sign language.
“The government is aware of the enormous challenges faced by the Deaf in their everyday life and acknowledges that the need for equal access to service provision for deaf people is a human rights issue,” he said adding that the government has established a fully-fledged Unit headed by Coordinator for People Living with Disabilities in the Office of the President.
” I am satisfied that the concerns of Botswana Sign Language (BoSL) will be addressed at his office and will be in line with one of the President’s 4 Ds of Dignity.” Rakhudu mentioned that it is unfortunate that the President and his vice including the cabinet were illiterate in sign language and will have to ask members of the deaf association to teach them too so that they can lead as an example.
Speaking at the same event the President of Botswana Association of the Deaf Japhet Moyo said that deaf people need support so that they can be part of the communication circle.