The first teacher training for the deaf is set to take place at Morgan Zintech College this September. Thanks to NMB Bank, Trymore Manyuchi, Gwendolyn Goredema and Lydia Tutani will be the first deaf teachers trained to teach and meet the needs of deaf students.
NMB agreed to sponsor the three students after being approached by the Deaf Zimbabwe Trust, an organisation that promotes the empowerment of the deaf and hard of hearing. Trymore Manyuchi and Gwendolyn Goredema lost their hearing as infants and Lydia Tutani was born deaf.
Although he completed his O’ Levels, employment has not been easy to get for Manyuchi. He worked as a builder but lost his job as he had difficulty understanding instructions. “Going to Morgan Zintech is a big opportunity for me,” he said.
Gwendolyn Goredema said she was happy to be selected for the training programme as it’s an opportunity to not only better her life but to help deaf children.
“I am particularly sad because people my age and with the same passes as me have been able to go to college, but for the deaf it is different. Training as a teacher will help me support my family as well as provide support to deaf children in schools who have no support at all,” she added.
Tutani said she was happy to go to college and hoped that doing so would not only benefit her but help improve the situation of deaf people in Zimbabwe. “I would like to help deaf children who do not have sign language support in schools,” she said.
Deaf Zimbabwe Trust executive director Barbra Nyangairi said while government had adopted an inclusive education policy where children with disabilities or special needs learn alongside other children in schools, deaf children often just sat in class unable to hear what the teacher was saying. Without a teacher or an assistant who uses sign language, they cannot understand what is being taught.
Nyangari said the Deaf Zimbabwe Trust is in the process of raising funds to provide sign language interpreters for the deaf students at Morgan Zintec. Three interpreters are required as well as assistants to act as support staff.
Nyangairi said NMB Bank’s support and sponsorship for the students will have an impact not only on the students they are sponsoring but on the lives of the wider community who need to be educated to accept that deaf people can do many professional jobs. For example, in the United States there are deaf doctors, nurses and lawyers. “We want to remove the mentality that a deaf child is a state child,” she said.
NMB Bank marketing manager Lindiwe Thebethebe told the students that NMB was happy to be able to assist and play a role in enabling deaf people to train as teachers for the first time in Zimbabwe.
Image: NMB Bank hands over sponsorship for the training of deaf teachers