The Deaf Bulletin 2019 Issue 4
“Subject to the availability of resources” The curse of disability in Zimbabwe – By Barbra Nyangairi
The phrase subject to the availability of resources has been consistently used as an excuse to avoid the provision of services for persons with disabilities. The use of the phrase shows a lack of commitment to the incremental realization of the right to education for children with disabilities.
Deaf Zimbabwe Trust is concerned about the continued use of the phrase in the Education Amendment Bill. If the teaching and use of sign language is made subject to the availability of resources then it will take a log time for Deaf children to catch up with other children who have other language options. As we interact with these amendments lets remember that inclusion is an attitude and for Deaf children we cannot provide language subject to the availability of resources.
A commitment to the improvement of Deaf education means that this provision can not be applied to sign language as it is against the spirit and letter of the constitution for children with disabilities.As a country we need to give ourselves timelines and make laws for the future not based on the current circumstances that will not allow the nation to be stretched and to develop.
As long as we continue to create opportunities for excuses, then an inclusive society will remain a dream in Zimbabwe. 90 per cent of children with disabilities are not in school and the 10 per cent in school do not transition to secondary school and as long we can hide behind “subject to the availability of funding, the outcomes of children with disabilities will not change.
AMENDMENT OF SECTION 62
Languages to be taught in public schools:
1)Every school shall endeavour to –
- Teach every Officially Recognised Language
- Ensure that the language of instruction shall be the language of examination. (what happens to sign language)
- Ensure that the mother tongue is to be used as a medium of instruction at Early Childhood Education.
2) School Curricular shall as far as possible reflect the culture of the people of every Language used or taught in terms of this section.
3) The use of any language in terms of subsections (1) and (2) shall be subjected to —
- The availability of resources to the state for giving effect to these provisions and
- The Availability of Teachers, examination, textbooks and other educational materials necessary for instruction in and of any of these languages.
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Other topics covered in this bulletin are:
- Proficient Sign Language Court Interpreters. By Precious Nkomo
- My fears, hope and aspirations, an expose of young people with disabilities. By Veronica Mwanza