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DEAF EDUCATION IN SOMALIA

This article is focusing on the specific factors for deaf education in Somalia such as; how it is affecting Deaf people regarding the education, styles in Deaf education, and the views of a Deaf student.

Factors Affecting Deaf Education

Several factors negatively and positively affect the education of Deaf and hard of hearing learners are applied in the country of Somalia. These factors include, among others are in the following: – the shortage of Deaf role models for Deaf learners, Somalia Sign Language (SOSL) not being recognised as a Language of Learning and Teaching (LOLT) by the Somali government and only a few teachers can be seen in the fluency of Somali Sign Language.

Shortage of Deaf Role Models for Deaf Learners

As a result of poor education or no education at all, Deaf Somali adults are largely excluded from educational opportunities and professional employment. Consequently, opportunities for Deaf students as professionals to return to school and act as Role Models are weakened.

The literature reveals that about 80% of the Deaf population is unemployed. This meant that Deaf children do not have enough appropriate adults as Role Models. The whole issue caused that Deaf adults to prevent them from being fully integrated into mainstream society as a result of their disempowering educational experience.

Although the Department of Education in Somalia has implemented adult basic education, Deaf adults remain discriminately excluded because there is no formal training of adult basic education providers as part of the accommodation of Deaf adults.

Regarding Deaf Somali children, some teaching assistants were employed by some schools for the Deaf also have a crucial role in the education of Deaf Learners. If accommodated properly, they can work in conjunction with educators by signing the content of the lessons to children and enable access for them to learn. They can generally serve Sign Models and Language Mentors to Deaf children. It is important that young Deaf children be exposed to Deaf adults as SOSL role models. As mentioned earlier, many Deaf adults do not have enough formal education to gain access to universities, training and they were forced to come back to schools for the Deaf to be a Teacher for Deaf.

Somalia Sign Language (SOSL) not recognised as Federal of Somalia

Since spoken languages established, there is a barrier for Deaf learners to education, Somalia Sign Language (SOSL) is the language tool through which they will gain equal access as a citizen in the education system alongside with their hearing peers.

If not used consistently by well-trained, skilled signers, Total Communication not only undermines Somali Sign Language but also creates a barrier to lessen the quality in Somalia Deaf education for Deaf children. If Somali Sign Language could be officially recognised and implemented as a subject, both teachers and learners would get an opportunity to separate Total Communication from SOSL.

This understanding would effectively lead to local and national respect for Somalia Sign Language as a real language with a legal status equal to that of the spoken language used in the education of hearing learners. Some Deaf people, Hard of Hearing people, and children of Deaf Adults (CODA) use SOSL as their first or preferred language in all the Federal of Somalia.

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