Children with hearing impairment in Seychelles are now learning in a new school with modern facilities which is providing lessons up to the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) level.
On Friday, the President of Seychelles, Wavel Ramkalawan, visited the facility which is equipped with a computer room, library, sickbay, staff room, boarding facilities, and room for trainers.
The setting up of the school was spearheaded by an Association of People with Hearing Impairment (APHI) – a not for profit organisation. It is located at the former maritime school near the Seychelles Institute for Teacher Educaiton (SITE) in the central Mahe district of Mont Fleuri.
Anita Gardner, the chairperson of APHI, told reporters that “all in all, I am very happy that the students have gained their school and I hope they use the facilities wisely.”
President Wavel Ramkalawan, visited the facility which is equipped with a computer room, library, sickbay, staff room, boarding facilities, and room for trainers.(Daniel Laurence, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC BY
She said that parents with children with hearing impairment need to refer their children at an early stage to the school to facilitate learning.
Previously eight students with hearing impairments were attending school in a designated classroom at the Au Cap school.
The school’s curriculum will be similar to that of state schools and lessons are currently being thought by three teachers who have been trained in sign language.
The setting of the school has been funded through a Japanese grant of $76,000 (SCR1 million) for assisting grassroots human security Project and Gardner said that the rest of the refurbishment was done by the association through fundraising.
The school is located at the former maritime school in the central Mahe district of Mont Fleuri. (Seychelles Nation) Photo License: CC-BY
President Ramkalawan gave his reassurance that the government will support the school financially.
“A school for students with hearing impairments need to be on a standard that can facilitate learning for them. I have advised the school to prepare a reasonable budget,” said Ramkalawan.
This has been welcomed by Gardner who said “we have struggled a lot and 90 percent of my time have been spent trying to get funds. For too long the deaf community in Seychelles has been operating without a proper centre. Now we are finally offering an important service in Seychelles and I am very glad to have heard from the president that we will get a budget support from the government.”
Parents with children with hearing impairment need to refer their children at an early stage to the school to facilitate learning. (Daniel Laurence, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC BY
A student, Kirstie Ernesta, said that she is very happy to be in her new school and launched an appeal for continuous support from the government.
“I hope that all that are being educated here are able to achieve their goals,” she said.
The facilities at the school will also be used by older people with hearing impairment as it will be equipped with trained interpreters who can help them with different things.