Deaf and hard-of-hearing students

Published Date: 05 April 2021 03:00 PM

News Parliamentary Replies

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament

Ms Raeesah Khan, Sengkang GRC

Question

To ask the Minister for Education (a) over the past five years, what is the number of deaf and hard-of-hearing students in mainstream schools at the (i) primary level (ii) secondary level and (iii) pre-tertiary level respectively; (b) whether, and if so how many, schools offer Singapore Sign Language to hearing students; and (c) whether the Ministry will consider offering Singapore Sign Language as a third language.

Response

1. Over the past 5 years, the number of students with hearing loss has remained relatively stable at about 0.2-0.4% of the cohort at the primary (500-700 students), secondary (500-650 students) and post-secondary education institutions (250-450 students in Junior Colleges, Millennia Institute, polytechnics and Institute of Technical Education) levels.

2. Most of the students with hearing loss in mainstream schools have mild needs as they have good receptive and expressive language. They have residual hearing and access hearing devices like hearing aids and implants. Paired with early intervention, these students have been able to develop their language abilities. For those who require the use of sign language for communication and instruction, designated schools like Mayflower Primary School and Beatty Secondary School are able to support their learning needs. HL-Signing support will also be provided at MOE Kindergarten@Mayflower from the 2022 K1 cohort. During lessons, a specialised teacher will teach alongside the subject teacher using Singapore Sign Language (SgSL). Parents of children at MK@Mayflower will also be supported in using SgSL to aid their communication with their children.

3. There are multiple avenues for students to learn SgSL. Besides the HL-Signing designated schools which provide opportunities for their students to learn SgSL, other students keen on learning SgSL can sign up for the PA Basic Sign Language for Communication and courses offered by organisations such as The Singapore Association for the Deaf (SADeaf) and ExtraOrdinary Horizons.

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