State recognition to ‘sign language’ likely today

Posted: জানুয়ারি 31, 2009 in Education

The long-cherished dream of the hearing impaired community for a state recognition of ‘sign language’ is likely to be materialised today.

A source in the social welfare ministry seeking anonymity said, “The government is seriously thinking of materialising the demand which may become public through the inauguration of the month-long Amar Ekushey Book Fair at Bangla Academy through the declaration by the prime minister.”

The deaf community leaders said giving state recognition to sign language through inclusion of sign language in all mainstream activities of the society and to contribute for nation building.

Bangladesh National Federation of the Deaf (BNFD) founder of Harunar Rashid Khan said, “Deaf people face the tough problems in the courts due to lack of interpreters. Cases of any deaf people remain unsettled due to such problems.”

MI Chowdhury, founder member, said, “If the government trains up the government schoolteachers for deaf people, it can save money of establishing specialised schools, adding: “Such initiative will help general students to develop awareness of these special students.”

According to BNFD, the number of deaf people in the country is 26 lakh. In 2005, a NFOWD study conducted on 12,000 people of six divisions found that 5.6 percent people are disabled and 22.5 percent of them hearing and speech impaired.

Without 10 schools for these people, the government has no contribution to the deaf people. Out of the schools, nine are under the ministry of social welfare and one under the local government ministry.

There are only two secondary-level schools for deaf people. The oldest deaf school at secondary level in Rajshahi faced closure due to lack of fund. There are seven non-government primary schools for these people.

The daily star 01.02.2009

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