MANAD donates sign-language dictionaries to Catholic University.

The Malawi National Association of the Deaf (MANAD) has today donated 30 dictionaries and flash discs with learning materials to the Catholic University of Malawi (CUNIMA) to help in the quality delivery of Special Needs Education programmes.

Speaking during the donation ceremony, the Head of the Special Needs Department at Catholic University Jennipher Ngwira said the donation is timely as the university is in the process of getting reaccreditation of its programmes by the National Council of Higher Education (NCHE) in Malawi.

Ngwira added further that dictionaries will help students who are majoring in sign language to learn the sign language that is used in Malawi.

“We are very happy as a department and as a university that they are here today because they will help our students understand better the signs that are used to communicate in our societies,” said Ngwira.

MANAD Research Assistant Nelson Simbenya said the sign-language dictionaries contain signs that are mostly used by people who are deaf; hence, users are expected to improve in communicating with the deaf in the country.

Simbeya added that the association plans to have more editions of the Malawi sign-language dictionaries as a way of ensuring that all the signs used are accommodated in the dictionary.

“This dictionary is very important not only to the people who are deaf but also to those who are hearing so that they can communicate effectively with one another,” said Simbeya.

He further added that the dictionary will help students enrolled in special needs education understand the signs that are used in sign language.

Simbeya further explained that the production of the dictionary has been supported with financial support from the people of Finland.

The Catholic University of Malawi is the only university in the country that offers a special needs programme. The university offers a diploma and a degree in special education.

Last year, MANAD launched the first-ever sign-language dictionary for Malawi. The Catholic University of Malawi has become the second institution of higher learning after the University of Malawi got a similar donation.

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