Students with hearing impairment only communicate through Sign Language and for that reason we have a team of 40 teachers and/or Sign Language Interpreters that are apt to ensure consistent information flow. Our curriculum is similar to the national secondary one so we do the same national examinations just like the hearing students. We endeavor to put a lot of emphasis on co curricular activities to aid skills development and critical thinking. We train 13 subjects at Ordinary level, English Language, Computer Studies, Mathematics, Christian Religious Education, Physics, Literature in English, Chemistry, Art & Crafts, Biology, Principles & Practices of Agriculture, History, Entrepreneurship Education, Geography and at Advanced level we teach Christian Religious Education, Mathematics, Entrepreneurship Education, History, Art & Crafts at principal level and at subsidiary level General Paper and Computer.
Teaching the Deaf
I learned signing on the job as a teacher and the government later came in and gave us some skills. I wouldn’t call myself an expert but I can adequately translate, I have a certificate but I would not offer the service professionally. I am a mathematics teacher and I examine the subject.
Teaching can be tough as some of our students may struggle due to slow capturing of concepts and the human nature of forgetfulness amongst our students. It takes a lot more effort to have a student here achieve even a credit pass in mathematics. Majority of our students are not academic so subjecting them to the same academic curriculum is not helpful. We help our students on the nature of the subjects they offer. However they have very good vocational skills and I think those that have academic ability should be subjected to the same concepts knowing that they aren’t learning for themselves but are going to practice in a world with everyone else. That way they should measure up to the community standard. We ensure that we skill them to the same standard. I thank the government because they have tried to cater for them by offering them sponsorship if they have two principal passes at A-level.
There is a lot of need for hearing people to sign because deaf people are growing in number and we have tried to mitigate the causes but dealing with the situation is also important. It would be a great skill to acquire maybe even become like another language. I sign for all my lessons and the advantage is that my students get first hand information. Unlike when messages are translated, they are dependent on the translators knowledge as well. Their schedules are always tight too. We plead to the government to contract interpreters for Wakiso School for the deaf as we have only two deaf teachers and the rest are hearing so they all need interpreters.
Atim Christine O-Level Mathematics