ACCESSIBILITY OF CURRICULUM BY LEARNERS WITH HEARING IMPAIRMENT IN SCHOOLS: A CASE STUDY OF BULAWAYO SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN ZIMBABWE

Author's Name: Dr Sylod Chimhenga & Mr. Patrick Sibanda
Subject Area: Social Science and Humanities
Subject Education
Section Research Paper

Keyword:

curriculum, sign language, hearing impairment, the deaf


Abstract

The study sought to find out the challenges and opportunities of including deaf students in mainstream secondary schools in Bulawayo area in Zimbabwe. Fifteen participants (1 school head, 4mainstream teachers, and 10 deaf students) were purposively selected. All participants were interviewed individually. Theme identification methods were used to analyse data. All the deaf students had hearing aids and were mostly taught by regular class teachers in the mainstream but with constant withdrawal to the resource rooms for specialised services such as auditory training. Despite wearing hearing aids most deaf students could not hear the spoken languages used by teachers. All mainstream teachers were not conversant with Sign Language. There was occasional Sign Language ‘interpretation’ in the mainstream classes whenever the specialist teachers were available. Deaf students participated in most out-of-class activities with hearing peers. It was concluded that the deaf students were socially included but were academically excluded because of lack of linguistic access to the academic curriculum in the secondary schools.

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