Most deaf people in Masaka and the neighbouring districts cannot communicate well because they are sign language illiterate, a district official revealed. Masaka district rehabilitation officer, Michael Miiro said that most deaf people in the area have not had the chance of being taught sign language in school.
“We have schools teaching sign language, but in Masaka, there are only three which do so at primary level. There is none at secondary level,” he said. Miiro was inspecting schools for people with disabilities in Masaka recently during which he urged the Government to ensure that all schools offer sign language lessons. The district official made it clear that just like other languages, sign language can be taught and examined at both O’ and A’ level.
“Teaching sign-language would enable our society communicate with these people and stop the marginalisation they face,” he said. He expressed dismay at employers denying people with disabilities (PWDs) jobs and commended Mary Kabiito, the proprietor of Kakunyu School for Children With Special Needs in Lwengo district for taking care of children with disabilities.
He also called for more support for the school. Kabiito said some parents enrol children with disabilities in schools without providing for their upkeep, and she called on Government to not only enact strict laws to punish such parents, but also have them implemented. William Obella, a teacher at Masaka School for Special Needs, said apart from two schools in Mbale and Wakiso, Uganda does not have any other secondary school for deaf students.