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UFS shares expertise in Sign Language
2009-05-07

 
The University of the Free State (UFS) is continuing in its commitment to reach out to other universities on the African continent. Mr Philemon Akach (pictured), a senior lecturer in the Department of Afro-Asiatic Studies, Sign Language and Language Practice, recently visited the University of Ghana to share his expertise and assist in the introduction of the Ghanaian Sign Language (GSL) as an academic course in that institution. The course will first be piloted as an “elective course” and if successful it will be a permanent feature of the University of Ghana's calendar.

Mr Akach has been instrumental in the development of GSL since the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) sent him on a fact-finding mission regarding the education of deaf children in Ghana in 1993. Since then he has trained interpreters as well as parents and teachers of deaf children in Ghana in using the South African Sign Language multimedia grammar teaching materials. He has also guided the GSL Dictionary Project. The University of Ghana will use his books as the basis for the teaching of the GSL. This session was a follow-up to the one he had with that university in February this year.

The UFS is widely regarded as a beacon of light in the teaching of sign language on the continent and, together with the University of Witwatersrand, are the only universities in South Africa that offer sign language as an academic course.
Photo: Mangaliso Radebe

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