National, News

Activist calls for introduction of sign language

By Charles K Mark

A member of the civic society is pleading with the government and educational authorities to make sign language a required course in schools.

Mr. Edmond Yakani, executive director of the Community Empowerment Progress Organisation (CEPO), said it is the responsibility of the government to compel the inclusion of sign language in the national curriculum.

“We would like to see sign language compulsorily introduced to our educational systems,” the activist urged.

Yakani made his appeal during the launch of the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (UNCRPD) in Juba yesterday.

On February 24, 2023, the President of the Republic of South Sudan ratified the UNCRPD. This was a step towards the realization of the rights of people living with disabilities in the country.

Activist Yakani and many other Civil Society activists who spearheaded the advocacy for the ratification of the convention applauded the achievement.

“The reality is that any person with a disability has not written to God to be born with a disability, so therefore, whoever you are, in whatever capacity, when you start entertaining any form of discrimination against a person with a disability, we are saying you are against South Sudan but not against the persons with disabilities,” Yakani said.

He said the absence of sign language in the curriculum has made some teachers discriminate against people with disabilities.

“We have seen cases of police denying investigation of rights to people who are in conflict with the law; we have seen judges denying taking responsibility to listen to cases of people with disabilities in court because they say, we don’t know the signs of what the interpreter is interpreting.” CEPO’s boss lamented.

Yakani echoed that if the anticipated 2024 election is to happen, then the vote of a person with a disability should be taken into account, adding that it has the power to pass or fail any politician who would vie for a position.

“Whether you like it or you don’t like it, one vote of a person with a disability either will fail you or it will pass you,” he cited.

CEPO’s Executive Director reiterated that when politicians make discriminatory budgets, they indeed exercise discrimination against people with disabilities.

In a state delivered by Albino Atak, minister of Humanitarian Affairs, President Salva Kiir Mayardit directed all government institutions to implement provisions of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).

The United Nations General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) on December 13, 2006.

The UN informed us that the large discrimination and marginalization of people with disabilities was the reason for adopting the law.

Comments are closed.