A senior Lecturer at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Dr Wisdom Kwadwo Mprah has made a strong case for a national policy and educational reforms to help eliminate the communication barrier which continued to impede education of the deaf in Ghana.
He said the lack of a clear policy standardising the use of sign language in both mainstream and special schools for the deaf, had thrown teaching and learning in disarray, as teachers adopted varying approaches they deemed convenient.
In an interview with the Ghana News Agency on the issue, Dr Mprah observed that while most mainstream schools were not accessible to deaf students due to language barrier, more than 90 percent of teachers in the about 16 basic schools and one Senior High School (SHS) for the deaf could not communicate in sign language.
According to Dr Mprah who is the Head of the Department of Health Promotion and Disabilities under the School of Public Health, teachers of deaf students rather learnt the sign language from their students, describing it as a very bad arrangement.
He said the situation was compounded by the lack of assistive devices such as hearing aids in majority of the schools and consequently, only a handful of deaf students were able to go beyond the SHS level.
“Those who are in tertiary are also suffering. Apart from the Presbyterian College of Education at Akropong in the Eastern Region, and I think, Takoradi Technical University, where there are permanent interpreters, other institutions do not have.