More hope for deaf children

12 November 2019 | Youth

In its 30th anniversary year, the Association for Children with Language, Speech and Hearing Impairments of Namibia (CLaSH) completed a new building on the premises of NISE’s School for the Hearing Impaired. Based on an agreement with the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture, signed in October 2018, CLaSH has worked in close collaboration with the Khomas Regional Directorate of Education. Financial support came from Germany through the organisation BILD Hilft – A Heart for Children and the Rotary Club Munich-Lehel.

The new building consists of two classrooms, storerooms, a kitchen and ablution facilities. Under the auspices of the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture it will host the CLaSH Pre-School and Day-Care Unit, a specialised ECD facility for children who are deaf, from January 2020 onwards.

With the inauguration of the new building and the handing over to the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture on 1 November 2019 the partners have taken a visionary step towards an integrated education system for learners with hearing impairment. The newly built ECD Centre will feed well-prepared learners into the formal education system and is envisaged to develop into Namibia’s first Early Intervention Centre for children with hearing loss.

Sanet Steenkamp, executive director of the education ministry, said the ministry and CLaSH share the vision of developing the CLaSH Pre-School and Day-Care Unit into Namibia’s first Early Intervention Centre for children with hearing loss. Ideally, early intervention includes the identification of hearing loss as early as possible in a child’s life, a parents’ empowerment programme, Namibian Sign Language classes and service delivery by trained medical and educational staff in well-equipped facilities. Photo contributed