The Acting Vice-Chancellor, Professor Alfred Ncube, second from left seated with the sign language graduates.

The Zimbabwe Open University (ZOU), certified 23 students who successfully completed a course in sign language offered by the University’s Faculty of Applied Social Sciences.

The University of Choice in Open and Distance Learning issued 18 certificates to students who completed the course in basic sign language and 5 certificates to students who successfully completed the advanced sign language course.

Twenty-three students from different parts of the country attended the course. The cohort was made up of people from different persuasions such as teachers, media practitioners, archeologists, counsellors and nurses.

An advanced level student from Mufakose 1 High School, Nyaradzo Muvavi, was also part of the class.

Speaking during the certification ceremony, ZOU Acting Vice Chancellor,Professor Alfred Ncube, said the programme was designed to benefit the participants for them to improve communication with people who have a hearing impairment (deaf).

He added that the University will continue to have classes of sign language so that many people obtain the skills necessary for effective communication with people with hearing impairments.

“Breakdown in communication has a negative effect on socialisation for the affected people. The University of Choice in Open and Distance Learning will continue to offer courses that have a positive impact on communities and their social development”, said Prof Ncube.

The University pledged to continue offering these short courses as part of its corporate social responsibility programme to empower people through open and distance learning enabled by technology.