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Erasmos: "With sign language, I can… help other people"

HELPING HAND: Erasmos in his office at Moshi Secondary School

HEADMASTER OF Moshi Technical Secondary School, Erasmos Kyara, is passionate about making sure deaf children have equal access to education.

Over 1,000 of his students have disabilities, and Erasmos has been at the frontline of a recent DCW project to make lessons more inclusive for deaf students.

DCW and partner charity Child Reach Tanzania were brought into the school to provide Tanzanian Sign Language training. Teachers started using sign language in all their classes, not just those with deaf students, and giving deaf students one-to-one support after school.

Erasmos said the programme has instilled a sense of confidence among deaf students and improved teachers’ proficiency in delivering lessons to deaf students.

DCW and Child Reach Tanzania have trained more than 100 teachers across the country. They also ran vocational training courses for deaf young people who had already left school (a third of whom got jobs by the end of the course) and set up a local business network of deaf-friendly employers.

Thanks to the use of sign language in schools, the national exam pass rate for deaf students rose dramatically - from 47% in 2015 to 76% in 2016. Deaf children and young people reported a 70% improvement in community inclusion.

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