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Problems Facing Deaf Students And The Examination System In Ghana-A Concerned Teacher



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I, as a teacher and a special educator to be, have realized something I wish to raise awareness on: That is the deaf student and Ghana examination.

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First, how people who are deaf learn is slightly different from their hearing colleagues. In a mainstream school, a teacher can use a day to teach a topic but in the schools for deaf, a whole week or even weeks are dedicated to teaching the same topic. When this happens, the teacher may not be able to cover all the topics in the syllabus before the school term or academic year ends. Unfortunately, these students will end up writing the same examination with their hearing colleagues.

The use of Sign language

In Ghana, the mode of communication for the people who are deaf is sign language. As most of us are aware, every language has its own grammatical rules and syntax or sentence structure, of which sign language is not an exception.


English : Subject+Verb+Object order

Sign language: Time +Object+Subject+Verb + Question

Now knowing this, let’s consider this sentence:

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English : I went to school yesterday.

Sign language : Yesterday in School I go.

You are probably wondering what kind of grammatical construction is this,, but that is how sign language is communicated. Now let ask ourselves; if you were a teacher or if as a teacher, your student write this kind of English (Yesterday School I go) for you, will you mark him/her correct? I know the answer will be no.

Yet, the deaf student is expected to write the same English paper with his hearing colleagues, which are marked by teachers with no sign language background. Therefore, I suggest that examination papers of the deaf students be given to special teachers to mark.

Lack of vocabulary

Sign as a language lacks most of the vocabularies found in the English language. For an example, Source: In this case, certain words need to be explained or finger spelled to the deaf student since it has no sign. Meanwhile, the deaf student answers the same questions as their hearing colleagues.

I feel that questions set for the deaf students should be modified, that is, breaking down the English vocabulary to the simplest form but having the same meaning.

Furthermore, some questions need to be changed for the deaf. Kindly take a look at the picture below:

Time allocation

The deaf students writing the same paper with their hearing colleagues are made to start and finish the same time, which to me should not be the case. They should be allowed additional time. This does not apply to only students that are deaf but persons with disability.

Written by A concerned teacher, Josiah Akwasi Demiyakor.


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Bricy Boateng is a digital marketer, blogger and a content creator. He's passionate about matters relating to Education, Health, Relationship and Religion. Follow him on all social media platforms for more informative news.

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