By Blessing Bature-Akpakpan,
As a global network that strives to build a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change, the Rotary Club in Abuja has advocated for a school and centre for the deaf across every sector in Nigeria.
The Rotary President, Abuja Gwarinpa district, Mr James Ugbeda who represented their general President of Abuja, Constance Okeke said at the International week of the deaf and the international day of sign language that rotary club values diversity and celebrates the contributions of people of all backgrounds; regardless of age, ethnicity, race, color, abilities, religion, socioeconomic status, culture, sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity.
He said, “We collaborate with the community of the deaf under the platform of deaf resource centre and we are here to support, back up the deaf community because rotary is a humanitarian organization. We share our knowledge and experience with educators and other professionals, who work with vulnerable populations.
“Rotary clubs are working with the Global Partnership for Education and local and national governments to advance life-long learning opportunities for poor and marginalized children. In order to achieve this, we are presenting 50 school bags, hand sanitizers, facemasks and 200 exercise books,” adding that, since school are not in session, they give to parents to deliver to their children.
“We want to channel their complaints through the National Assembly in a way that they will buy into it and put it in the school curriculum. It is not just for the deaf, but also to all the disabled in the country to know more about sign language. This will benefit us because anybody can become vulnerable tomorrow.
“The National Assembly need to mainstream school of the deaf across every sector in Nigeria but public and private.”
Also Mr Richard Clement, Rotary Abuja Jabi President said the goal of Rotary is to strengthen the capacity of communities to support basic education and literacy, reduce gender disparity in education, and increase adult literacy. We support education for all children and literacy for children and adults.
He stressed that rotary look at the way they can support the deaf community because we find out that even in early education, deaf children find it difficult to start their Nursery school at age 2year to 4years and at the age of 8 they Will be taken from their family to boarding school so parent find it difficult to learn how to communicate with their deaf children.
He urged federal government and private sector to add deaf language to the school curriculum and employ sign language interpreter to enable either student to learn how to communicate or in our offices if seeing any deaf person among them will be able to communicate effectively.