Livingstonia Synod of the Church of Central Africa Presbytery(CCAP) through its Deaf Awareness Community Training Project (Deaf ACT) is promoting inclusive education for hearing-impaired children in Mzimba District.
Speaking during a Deaf ACT open day at Luviri Primary school on Thursday, Deaf ACT project manager Boniface Massa said many people view hearing-impaired children as incapable of doing anything productive and the project is trying to erase that mindset.
He said: “Many deaf children in the communities are kept indoors with nothing to do. The project encourages such parents to send their children to school.”
Massa said they first trained teachers how to handle and work with such learners. He said they also trained parents of hearing-impaired children how to take care of them, adding that the children themselves were also trained as well as the community as a whole.
“We want to create a conducive environment for such children in both the community and in schools,” he said.
However, Massa said the learners are still struggling to fit in the classroom environment because their colleagues make fun of them.
Luviri Zone primary education advisor (PEA) Betty Tchongwe said the project has helped teachers to reach out to hearing impaired learners. She said the trainings have imparted to the teachers skills to identify learners with hearing impairment and how to handle them.
Deaf ACT Project is being implemented in four districts of Mzimba, Rumphi, Karonga and Chitipa having identified 1 035 hearing impaired learners in both schools and communities.
Seven profoundly deaf learners were given hearing aids after they failed to secure places at Embangweni and Ekwendeni schools for the deaf. n