Namibia: Sign Language Education offered at the University of Namibia



As of January next year, Sign Language education will be offered at the University of Namibia (UNAM). “Yes, this important milestone has now been confirmed by the University Senate,” says Davíð Bjarnason, Project Manager for social projects at ICEIDA´s Country Office in Namibia. One of the main objectives of ICEIDA´s support to Deaf education is the development and recognition of the Namibian Sign Language. Sign Language education at the University is therefore an acknowledgement of the importance of Sign Language in the education of deaf children in Namibian society, says Davíð.

From the beginning of 2009, Sign Language Education has been offered at Windhoek College of Education, but the College has now merged with the University of Namibia. Since the merger, work began to ensure that Sign Language Education would onwards be offered in the Faculty of Education at UNAM. To this effect, two employees of the College visited Iceland to acquaint themselves with Sign Language Education at the University of Iceland. Davíð says that this visit was very beneficial and that the Namibian curriculum is partly based on the approach in Iceland. Consultants from the Communication Centre for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Iceland will further assist with the development of the studies.