2 Western Cape schools to offer Sign Language as matric subject

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School (Duncan Alfreds, News24, file)
School (Duncan Alfreds, News24, file)

South African Sign Language (SASL) will be offered as a matric subject, the Western Cape education department said on Monday.

The department embarked on a three-year South African Sign Language pilot project from 2011 to 2013 to establish SALS as a subject in schools for the deaf.

It is the first SASL curriculum worldwide to be implemented at a Grade 12 level.

"There are currently only nine schools in the country that will be sitting for the 2018 (NSC) SASL exams," DA spokesperson on social development Lorraine Botha said. 

"Two schools in the Western Cape, De La Bat School for the Deaf learners in Worcester and Dominican Wittebome's matriculants have the privilege of presenting SASL on home language level at the end of 2018."

SASL will be offered as a subject at home language level from Grade 1 to matric.

Promoting inclusivity

"The DA in the Western Cape remains committed to eliminating all barriers to deaf learners and to ensure these individuals can fully exercise their right to be taught and assessed in their own language," Botha said.

"Furthermore, this offers a platform for those with hearing impairments to also be recognised as a fundamental part of South African culture."

The Western Cape Education Department has been promoting a culture of inclusivity in schools.

Earlier this month, spokesperson Bronagh Hammond said that Western Cape schools had been encouraged to protect members of the LGBTQIA+ community.

A handful of schools have started allowing transgender students to wear the uniforms that suit their gender identity.

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