Visit to Ephphatha Deaf School in Bujumbura
The Headmaster, Maurice Murishi, stated that despite his school’s efforts in providing Deaf education in the country, the plight for the Deaf children and young adults in Burundi continues. The number of Deaf unschooled children has increased dramatically. This was confirmed by the Burundi National Association for Deaf (BNAD) who put the figure of Deaf children out of school at 2000. Mr Murishi said that his school, which is equipped to cater for less than 200, is overwhelmed by the demand for registration and can no longer cope with new intake of pupils. This echoes the situation at a second deaf school in Gitega.
Mr Murishi highlighted the challenges faced at his school which include funding issues and the lack of qualified teachers. He expressed a desire to have a Deaf school set up similar to the ones that are operational in the UK. The opportunity of linking to a UK Deaf school would be very welcomed, and the possibility of a scheme whereby experienced UK Teachers of the Deaf visited and trained the Burundian Teachers and share their knowledge, expertise and ideas would help contribute to making Ephphatha Deaf School a better place for Deaf students to gain a good education.