Umalusi publishes report on South African Sign Language as an examinable subject

Today Umalusi released a report of its research study on the inclusion of South African
Sign Language (SASL) in the curriculum as one of the examinable subjects for the
National Senior Certificate. The aim of the study was to provide guidance to Umalusi
in its role as the quality assurer for SASL-Home Language with specific reference to
school-based assessment and national examinations.
The scope of the study also encompassed understanding how Deaf learners are
assessed as well as the kind of resources and materials required for assessment,
including identifying potential national moderators and evaluators. It is a monumental
step forward that SASL has now – for the very first time in South Africa – been officially
recognised as a home language in our education system, and it is a source of great
elation for all stakeholders within the education sector that SASL is finally being
recognised as part of the overt curriculum – as it always should have been.
Deaf learners in South Africa no longer need to feel like foreigners in their own land,
and at last they can exercise their rights to be taught and assessed in their own
language. This may be a bigger step than many people realise, for in recognising SASL
as a home language in our education system, the system is by implication recognising
Deaf culture as a fundamental part of South African culture.