SDA Church trains stu­dents in Sign Lan­guage

The Manica Post - - Faith/health - Love­more Kadzura Rusape Cor­re­spon­dent

THE na­tion needs to fully em­brace the use of sign lan­guage just like any other spo­ken lan­guages in or­der to bridge the com­mu­ni­ca­tion gap be­tween the hear­ing and the deaf peo­ple, a sign lan­guage expert has said.

Speak­ing at the grad­u­a­tion cer­e­mony of 30 stu­dents who grad­u­ated with cer­tifi­cates at the Sev­enth Day Mab­vazuva Church in Rusape, Sign Lan­guage expert tu­tor, Mr Dou­glas Mapeta, said the lan­guage was equal to oth­ers as stated in the Con­sti­tu­tion and there­fore must not be looked down upon.

In the new Con­sti­tu­tion, Sign Lan­guage is among the 16 of­fi­cial lan­guages used in Zim­babwe.

“Sign Lan­guage is a na­tional lan­guage that ev­ery cit­i­zen must strive to learn or at least ap­pre­ci­ate. It is a mis­nomer to as­sume that the lan­guage is only for those who do not hear. Sign Lan­guage is recog­nised in the Con­sti­tu­tion as one of the of­fi­cial lan­guages of Zim­babwe.

“The train­ing we had with th­ese grad­uands will go a long way in bridg­ing the gap be­tween the deaf and hear­ing peo­ple. Sign lan­guage is not only a re­serve for the deaf, but also for the hear­ing be­cause we want to make com- mu­ni­ca­tion easy be­tween the hear­ing and deaf.

“The new ed­u­ca­tion cur­ricu­lum also recog­nises Sign Lan­guage which is a very pos­i­tive de­vel­op­ment as Sign Lan­guage, just like any other lan­guage must be taught and per­fected at a ten­der age. Among those who grad­u­ated are teach­ers and they will also im­part what they learnt to pupils in their schools,” said Mr Mapeta, the di­rec­tor of Harare-based Sun­rise Sign Lan­guage Academy.

Sev­enth Day Ad­ven­tist Mab­vazuwa pas­tor, Mr Maxwell Bundo, hailed the train­ing of peo­ple in Sign Lan­guage, say­ing even in church it is dif­fi­cult to spread the word of God to deaf peo­ple as most pas­tors and preach­ers are not well versed with the lan­guage.

“It is our first time to do such a spe­cial pro­gramme train­ing peo­ple Sign Lan­guage. There was no way of com­mu­ni­cat­ing with deaf peo­ple in church and com­mu­ni­ties, but with this train­ing it is now pos­si­ble. By the grace of God, we hope that one day we will have a church specif­i­cally meant for the deaf peo­ple,” said Pas­tor Bundo, who also thanked prom­i­nent Rusape lawyer, Mr Leonard Chi­gadza for pro­vid­ing fund­ing for the train­ing.

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