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KNUT appeals for more sign language interpreters

Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT), Kirinyaga Branch has urged the government to consider employing more special need interpreters.

They singled out lack of adequate specialized personnel, especially sign language interpreters, which is isolating the deaf from articulating their agendas.

Led by The County KNUT chairperson Alex Ngondi and Executive Secretary Patrick Kanaiyu, they said people living with disabilities like the deaf are part of the society and must be incorporated in all the ongoing activities.

The duo was speaking in Kutus Town, while preparing for the post-World Teachers Day celebrations to be held later in the county.

“The deaf are just people like us, they need to communicate, either to pass information or seek an understanding of various subjects,” said Kanaiyu.

However, the executive secretary lamented that the number of teachers and sign language interpreters are limited in all sectors.

Kanaiyu called for establishment of training programmes so that the general public can appreciate the need to assist the deaf.

“Currently we don’t have enough personnel or teachers equipped with sign language. We urge the government to open training for all stakeholders including media so that the deaf can get a forum and ways of communicating with the rest of the world,” he added.

Kanaiyu single out public gatherings, where the deaf are left to communicate among themselves, because there is no assistance provided to make them part of the agenda being discussed.

“These people have been left to communicate among themselves, in public gatherings there are no interpreters and the deaf remain seated in special positions chatting on their owns issues because they normally don’t understand what is going on,” he said

“Providing interpreters in all public gathering will enable them participate and their contribution recognized everywhere,” added Kanaiyu.

The executive officer also noted that with the new CBC education curriculum, they are working with the County government to streamline education matters, especially in the ECDE, as there was general misunderstanding on whether the new curriculum starts from ECDE or Grade One.

On the other hand, the county KNUT chairperson noted that the taskforce created by the president will solve all the complaints raised by the teachers and parents.

“We are happy with the taskforce on CBC. We have been receiving a lot of complaints not only from parents but also our staff. We will soon provide amicable solutions on all the contested issues,” said Ngondi.

By Mutai Kipngetich

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