KARACHI (PR): 105 deaf students of Deaf Reach School and Training Center Karachi (a project of Family Educational Services Foundation [FESF]) celebrated the completion of a six month skills training program on Wednesday, 12th September. The training program, conducted in collaboration with Benazir Bhutto Shaheed Youth Development Program (BBSYDP), covers seven disciplines: Basic IT, Stitching & Embroidery, Tailoring, Culinary Arts, Pakistan Sign Language Interpreters, Deaf Teacher Training and Language Skills. The aim of these training programs is to provide jobless youth with the necessary skills to enter the workplace.
Deaf Reach is the only institution participating in BBSYDP that focuses on skills development for the deaf. The majority of subject instructors are deaf themselves, and many of them received their training with Deaf Reach. In fact, Deaf Reach’s center in Sukkur is conducting classes taught by the deaf for hearing students.
Aaron Geary, Regional Schools Manager, noted that since the Deaf are capable of doing anything except hear, the only thing lacking is the environment where the instruction is in their language, Pakistan Sign Language. “The deaf teaching the deaf is a very natural progression. Deaf instructors are very motivated, sincere in their determination to provide the very best training possible, and are able to communicate ideas and processes with their peers with ease and clarity. The next step is to encourage the business community to integrate these educated students into the local workforce.”
This is the third time Deaf Reach has conducted training sessions with BBSYDP, a partnership that has continued since 2009. More than 460 students have successfully completed the courses. More than 50% of students from the previous two batches have achieved gainful employment.
Deaf Reach is the only school for the Deaf in Pakistan that has branch schools, presently located in Hyderabad, Sukkur and Karachi. The training programs are being offered in all the above locations. These schools provide quality education to areas where education for the Deaf is virtually non-existent. Emphasis is placed on academic and vocational training, as well as assisting the older students to find gainful employment via the “Job Placement Program.” Sign Language and Deaf Awareness classes are taught on a regular basis to parents and family members of the children, as well as to hundreds of volunteers via the FESF Volunteer Training Program.