In Mogadishu, there is a school that seems just as ordinary as any other school across Somalia. However, the school is extraordinary as it is the first and only school of its kind in Mogadishu. The school is an institution for hard hearing or deaf children.
Giving the Deaf a Chance to Learn
The Somali Deaf Association founded the school for the deaf. Before the school was built, numerous deaf children found it hard to interact in their communities. Some deaf children never even went to school; they just stayed at home and played around in the sand. However, when the Association built the school, some of them got the chance to learn.
For many families, the school is the only one that provides normal classes to their children throughout the country. Now, these students look forward to having the same opportunities as their non-disabled peers.
Usman Muhammed Mahamud, the school director, reported he had returned to Somalia after completing his University education. Upon his return, he helped the Deaf Association open the school catering to hearing-impaired children. Other Somalis from abroad also helped in the building of the institution.
Sign Language and its Impact
Since its opening, the school has been receiving a good number of children wanting to learn. Almost all the children who come by wouldn’t have had the opportunity to go to school. Most of them are eager and happy as the school has opened doors they never dreamed of.
The school offers the children an opportunity to learn sign language. Through mastering the language, the students have gotten to interact with other students. There are a few hearing students at the school, and they must learn sign language. Also, there are some few adults that come to the school to learn sign language.
One student at the deaf school named Abdi, who is 19, hopes to top the final exams. The government conducts these exams, and thousands of students across Somalia take part. Abdi says he is just like other children, and he is hopeful he will accomplish his goal. During his free time, Abdi likes to play football with other children.
No Secondary Education Institutions
The deaf school currently provides teaching to students in middle school and elementary school age only. There are no Secondary education institutions with facilities to continue with the type of teaching offered at the deaf school.
It saddens teachers at the institution that learning ends when they leave the school for the deaf. Most of the students are residents of Mogadishu city. The students get heartbroken when they see their non-disabled peers attending secondary schools. Educators believe that the students they teach deserve the right to get a quality education. They also think the deaf have the right to get jobs.
Adna, who is 14 years, was asked what she would advise other children who were sited at home doing nothing. Adna said the biggest advice she could offer to her other deaf brothers and sisters is that they should not stay home. She added that they should come out and study and educate themselves. The 14-year-old concluded by saying that all those deaf children at home are just like other people and can have a normal life.