A coffee table book on the vision and mission of the Haryana Welfare Society for Persons with Speech and Hearing Impairment being unveiled during an international conference on ‘Deaf Education: Challenges and Way Forward’ in Rohtak on Tuesday.(HT Photo)
A coffee table book on the vision and mission of the Haryana Welfare Society for Persons with Speech and Hearing Impairment being unveiled during an international conference on ‘Deaf Education: Challenges and Way Forward’ in Rohtak on Tuesday.(HT Photo)

Only 5% hearing impaired children go to school in India

Hindustan Times, Chandigarh | By Sunil Rahar, Rohtak
UPDATED ON DEC 11, 2019 02:44 PM IST

Only 5% hearing impaired children get basic schooling and 1% of the total deaf population has access to quality education in the country.

Stating this here at an international conference on education for the deaf, experts said most of the children face difficulties in understanding concepts on a daily basis in schools because education and information are not accessible in Indian languages.

Speaking at the conference organised at the State University of Performing and Visual Arts on Tuesday, Dr Seema, the director at the Gurugram centre of Haryana Welfare Society for Persons with Speech and Hearing Impairment, said that there is little or no emphasis on sign language and 98% of the special educators in the country have limited or no sign language skill.

“As a result, despite years of schooling, students with hearing impairment remain language and education deprived. More than 90% of such children are born to parents who don’t have the required information and resources to provide early communication skills,” she said.

According to the 2011 census, there were 50.72 lakh hearing impaired students of which 1.15 lakh were in Haryana.

NO COURSE IN SIGN

LANGUAGE IN STATE

The experts said that Haryana does not have any sign language college for hearing impaired students and most of them were forced to drop out after Class 12.

In Haryana, the welfare society runs eight schools in Gurugram, Hisar, Sirsa, Karnal, Sonepat, Nagina (Mewat), Raipur Rani and Panchkula. The Haryana governor is the president of the society and chief minister its vice-president.

Only two schools in Karnal and Hisar are up to Class 12 , while the rest teach students till matriculation.

German linguist Ulrike Zeshan, who is a professor of sign language at the University of Central Lancashire, said that due to less focus on hearing impaired students, most of the educated ones are forced to work in lower paid and lesser skilled jobs. “The government should provide better education and infrastructure for these students,” she said.

INVOLVE EXPERTS IN

DECISION-MAKING

The researchers said most policies for hearing impaired students are framed by people who can hear and only few deaf researchers are involved in decision-making, resulting in substandard teacher training courses for such students.

“The area of education for the hearing impaired has information gaps besides misconceptions. Through the digital lab technology, such students can be provided videos with subtitles, voice over and relevant graphics of their school curriculum using sign language,” the expert said.

Prominent among those who attended the conference were experts Dr Alim Chandani and Noah Ahereza.

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