Better qualifications for deaf learners | Southern Courier

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Better qualifications for deaf learners | Southern Courier

Phoenix Durban

EXPRESSING: Linda Wellem using a sign language. Photo: Sibonelo Mtshali.

TEACHERS Learning Centre Training Organisation (TLCTO) is striving to make a difference in early childhood development (ECD) training for the deaf in Southern areas.
The Ormonde-based centre specialises in equipping and training deaf people to become educators. The centre established its project of training deaf people to be educators in February last year. Until then the centre had no facilities to provide teaching to learners with hearing disabilities.
Director of teacher learning centre Dandy Burmeister said because of the individual who last year sought to be trained as an educator, the school saw a need to accommodate people with hearing disability to train to become teachers.
“I went around local schools, especially nurseries, to look for deaf teachers. We were fortunate to get interested candidates from different parts of Joburg,” said Burmeister.
The centre has about 13 deaf students most of whom are assistant teachers over the weekends at their respective schools.
The centre offers level four and five NQF qualifications.
SMILES: Sandy Burmeister, the director of the teachers’ learning centre, is hoping for the centre to become one of the biggest in South Africa. Photo: Sibonelo Mtshali.
In an interview with COURIER, Burmeister said the qualifications obtained at the centre is recognised anywhere in the country and in other parts of the world.
“Usually this is the first entry point to become ECD teacher as a nursery teacher. The facilitators have experience with deaf people,” Burmeister added.
The courses last between a year and 18 months on a part-time basis.

“The problem with all deaf students is that their schooling only goes up until Grade 10 because they can’t go to universities to further their education. There are some who offer matric but not all of them finish Grade 10. So the only opportunity for them was to become an assistant teacher. However, the good news now is that they stand a good chance of obtaining a level four NQF qualification with us, which requires a Grade 10 qualification,” said Burmeister.
The COURIER, when visiting the facility, saw how learners paid attention as they were taught, and as they were introduced to principles of ensuring ECD centres ran smoothly and effectively.
Tasneem Hendricks, with the help of Shehnaaz Badat, the educator, told COURIER the centre was useful and was finding her footing.
SIGN-LANGUAGE: Hlengiwe Mangele one of the students at the centre. Pic: Sibonelo Mtshali
“I’m an assistant teacher and on weekends I come here to further my studies so that one day I can also be a qualified teacher,” she said.
For more information about the school please contact Sandra Burmeister on 082 775 1229 or [email protected]
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