By Ogunbayo Oluwaseyi (INN), Ogun
The Joint National Association of Persons With Disabilities (JONAPWD), Ogun State chapter recently engaged the State’s Teaching Service in a roundtable meeting to ask for better conditions for its members.
Ogun JONAPWD Chairman, Dr Michael Ebonhor, after due familiarization between the parties, presented issues that need the Commission’s attention; They include:
“More employment openings for our members who are teaching professionals.
Restructuring of the CBT test for better performance as majority of past applicants failed owing to certain difficulties encountered.
The Commission’s effort was solicited to bridge the communication gap for Deaf members by providing Sign Language Interpreters across sectors. Very important was the need for more Sign language Interpreters in all Government Special Schools for hitch-free education of the Deaf.
Better resources for Blind teachers in Government Special Senior Secondary Schools across the State to enable them teach Mathematics and Biology without difficulties.
Calls were made for Capacity building workshops for mathematics and science subjects teachers toward effective teaching of science and mathematics to the blind and other PWDs”.
Chairman of the Commission, Evangelist Olalekan Ifede, while responding to the Association’s appeal, congratulated the new JONAPWD Leadership. He implored them to do better towards ensuring wellness of members.
Olalekan duly acknowledged that the Association’s past executives once visited the Commission to table the issue of employment of its members.
According to him, the Commission, subsequently received applications for which the applicants sat for a test. Unfortunately, most of them failed and couldn’t be employed.
Olalekan therefore requested an urgent collation of names JONAPWD members with scores of 40% upward for immediate consideration.
He promised action on the employment of Sign Language Interpreters to bridge the communication gap and make education more accessible to the Deaf.
In his vote of thanks, the Secretary General of Ogun JONAPWD, Mr Olufemi Adeosun, recommended that the commission employ more Special Teachers of the Deaf instead of sign language interpreters.
Adeosun cited shortage of manpower for Deaf education, especially at the senior secondary level in Government schools as reason.
He also called for establishment of a special desk to regulate activities of Special Teachers and Sign Language Interpreters across Government Special Schools in the State.
According to him, such move is necessary, given the inability of a high percentage of Special Teachers and Sign Language Interpreters to fluently teach/interpret for the Deaf.
The pally ended with the Commission’s Chairman requesting the Association’s submissions be put in writing and forwarded to his office.