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Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Aussie state introduces sign language syllabus to primary, secondary schools

Sydney, Aug 23 (IANS) The Australian state of New South Wales (NSW) has announced that an Australian Sign Language (Auslan) syllabus was released to primary and secondary schools, which would be taught in classrooms at the beginning of 2026.

The NSW state government said in a statement on Tuesday that the new syllabus was developed in consultation with the deaf community, teachers, students and parents, Xinhua news agency reported.

According to the statement, Auslan is an optional course and decisions about teaching the syllabus will be made by schools and education sectors in consultation with the deaf community. Teachers will have up to a year of extra time to plan and prepare before 2026.

Deaf Australia, a not-for-profit organisation for deaf communities, estimated that there are 30,000 signing deaf people in Australia who may need an Auslan interpreter.

However, only 300 qualified and accredited practicing interpreters across the country can provide their help, and not all of them work full-time, according to Deaf Australia.

“As well as beginning learners of Auslan, this new syllabus will give students who are first language Auslan users the opportunity to formally study the language of their community,” said Prue Car, NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for Education and Early Learning.

She also hoped that allowing more children to learn the course would break the back of the shortages of Auslan interpreters.

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