By Emmanuel Chilemba
The Malawi National Association of the Deaf (MANAD) has announced that preparations for the release of the first ever Malawian sign language Dictionary are at an advanced stage.
Speaking in an interview with Malawi24, the Organisation’s Executive Director, Byson Chimenya, indicated that the Dictionary has been compiled in both English and Chichewa in a bid to ensure that it has a broader coverage and to ease communication among the deaf community in the country.
He, however said that his organization will also translate the Dictionary to other local languages.
He said: ” The preparations to release the sign language Dictionary are at an advanced stage. As of now, the Malawian Company which is Printing the copies is doing final torches and we are hopeful that in two weeks’ time the Dictionary will be ready.
“This Dictionary will be in the form of Hard copy and soft copy as one way of ensuring that it’s easily accessible.
“The soft copy of the Dictionary will be uploaded on our website so that people can easily access it and download,” said Chimenya.
He, further said that, his organization has now started working with Machinga Teachers Training College, to roll out sign language training program, in a bid to train more sign language Teachers in the country.
Chimenya observed that this program will ensure that Malawi has adequate number of sign language Teachers, a development which will go a long way in raising education standards among the Deaf Community in the country.
The United Nations Sustainable development goal 4 (SDG 4) of 2030 agenda, states the need to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning for all hence the need for countries like Malawi to adopt the same.
As of 2018, Malawi had a population of over 377,000 People with hearing impairments.
MANAD was established in 1992 asn an umbrella body for the Deaf Community in the country. Some of its core objectives are to serve as an advocate of the Deaf and implement policies having direct impact on the welfare and interests of the deaf Community.