The Embury Institute for Higher Education, in partnership with the Development Institute for the Deaf and Blind, has launched a South African Sign Language Teachers’ Training Programme.
The two-year part-time distance learning qualification is offered at Montana campus in Pretoria.
After completion, students will qualify with a Higher Certificate in Pre-school Education.
The course is aimed at deaf teaching assistants and prospective South African sign language teachers.
Johan Human, Embury CEO, said appointing qualified SA sign language teachers to teach sign language to deaf students is important.
According to Johan, fewer than 10% of teachers for the deaf had formal qualifications.
“The Department of Basic Education appointed deaf teaching assistants to co-teach with hearing teachers in a bid to close the gap.
“While deaf teaching assistants are competent, most have never received formal training in classroom practice or qualified as teachers because they can’t study at universities.”
The Embury qualification will be offered at NQF 5 level and carries 126 credits. It targets various groups, including deaf sign language teaching assistants with endorsed Senior Certificates without university exemption, those without a Senior Certificate, but employed at schools for the deaf who qualify via recognition of prior learning, deaf students who passed grade 12 with a university exemption and prospective sign language teachers who wish to be trained in full-service schools.
He said the focus will be on education-related training modules (such as early childhood development studies and computer practice for teachers), while the institute will lead the deaf-specific training modules (such as ortho-didactics for teachers and educational audiology), all combined to create a holistic teacher training curriculum.
The first intake of students begin their studies this month and will complete their course in June 2021.