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January 19, 2004

Teachers happy with deaf students performance

From: Mmegi, Botswana - Jan 19, 2004

Staff Writer

TEACHERS for the Deaf at Ramotswa Community Junior Secondary School are satisfied with the performance of deaf students in national examinations.

In an interview with Mmegi, some teachers who spoke on condition of anonymity said that they are happy with the deaf students' results, despite the fact that only two out off 22 of them obtained an overall Grade C. The students who got Cs scored some Es in not less than two subjects.

"To us this is a great achievement because it is the first time that such a number of deaf students attained grade C. The first time was last year when only one of them Dwililane, attained the same grade," said one of the teachers.

One teacher attributed the students' performance to the skilled personnel, which include four experts who joined the school after completing their degree courses at the University of Botswana in May last year.

"Unlike in the past when deaf students were taught by regular teachers, this time they were taught by us," he said.

Another teacher asserted that the students' performance is affected by the examinations and the unfavourable learning conditions. She said deaf students sit for the same examinations as those with full hearing.

At the same time "people who are insensitive to the deaf students' condition" collectively mark their scripts with those of other students.

"This puts them in an even more disadvantaged position, relative to their peers," she explained.

That deaf students, despite their disabilities can still manage to get a grade C, she said, is good news. "I wish the entire education system for the deaf could be revised. In the meantime, I would like the two students who passed with C, as well as some good Ds to proceed to senior secondary school," she said.

Efforts to confirm whether the two students with Cs would be admitted to senior secondary were futile because officials were in meetings or absent.

However, if the case of Dwililane Keatlholetswe who passed only to be excluded from senior secondary is anything to go by, then the future is even bleak for the current students.

Dwililane's hope for further education was thwarted when the government said it did not have any provisions for deaf students in senior secondary schools.

© Mmegi, 2002