Update: The original story stated that the the partnership was between the Development Institute for the Deaf and Blind (DIDB) and the Department of Education. It is in fact between the Development Institute for the Deaf and Blind and Embury Institute for Higher Education. The story has been amended accordingly.

In partnership with the Development Institute for the Deaf and Blind (DIDB), the Department of Education The Development Institute for the Deaf and Blind and Embury Institute for Higher Education launched the first sign language teachers training programme in the country earlier this week.

According to News24, the programme is aimed at potential sign language teachers and deaf teaching assistants, and will be an advantage to South Africa’s more than 4 million deaf or hard-hearing people, especially children.

“The Department of Education appointed SA Sign Language (SASL) teaching assistants to co-teach with hearing teachers to try to close the gaps. While deaf teaching assistance are competent in SASL, most have never received formal training in classroom practice or qualified as teachers because universities are not accessible to them,” explained Embury CEO, Johan Human.

Furthermore News24 says that the programme is aimed at equipping students with a Higher Certificate in pre-school education, as appointing qualified South African Sign Language teachers is a prerequisite for the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statements (CAPS) for the SALS as a home language.

The publication added that the Embury qualification will be offered at NQF 5 level and the course will be run at the institution’s Montana Campus in Pretoria as a part-time distance-learning qualification.

The first batch of students are expected to begin their studies in July this year and complete their course in June 2021.

[Source – News24] [Image – Photo by Andrei Lazarev on Unsplash]