IM this article to a friend!

May 22, 2007

South Africa: Teachers Trained to Improve Education for the Deaf

From: - Washington,USA - May 22, 2007

BuaNews (Tshwane)
22 May 2007
Posted to the web 22 May 2007

By Themba Gadebe

Twenty-four teachers educating deaf learners have embarked on a five-day training course to support the development of inclusive education in South Africa.

The training workshop is an agreement between the Swedish and South African governments to support the Programme of Development of Inclusive Education in the country.

This programme is funded by the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) to the tune of R2 million.

Two similar training workshops were held in March this year, involving 34 teachers from blind and deaf from schools countrywide, the Department of Education said.

The first workshop focused on generic issues such as the role of a teacher as a counsellor, while the second workshop targeted teachers of the blind and focused on issues related to low vision.

This third training session currently running in Pretoria involves only teachers for the deaf.

The Stockholm Institute of Education is responsible for providing the training and confers certificates on completion of the course.

The institute has deployed a team of well renowned and competent practitioners such as Professor Orjan Backman and Professor Rolf Helldin to provide the training.

Professor Backman is an expert on low vision and residual vision with a great track record having worked in six African countries including Botswana, Zambia, Malawi and Tanzania.

Professor Rolf Helldin is Professor of Special Education.

His areas of expertise include special schools and teachers, class and culture, communication and culture, school democracy and history of special education.

Both have been involved in the training of primary, secondary and special 'pedagogues' in various contexts.

They are accompanied by professors and lecturers including Louise Danielsson, a lecturer who is herself deaf.

The visiting trainers are assisted in facilitating the workshops by local disability organisations such as Deaf South Africa, Sign Language, Education Development, the South African National Council for the Blind and Blind South Africa.

"These organisations add value to the process by bringing in the local dimension of knowledge of the South African context and dynamics," the Education Department said.

The training started Monday and will run until Friday.

© 2007 BuaNews. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (