It has been a good, busy week so far. I have met the students at the school, and almost have all 40 some names down. Hopefully I will have them down by the end of the week. I have just been doing some observing of the classes, to see how the teachers manage their classroom, and to assess what level the students are working at.
This week, we also were supposed to meet with the Minister of Education of Liberia. Unfortunately, the minister's plans changed, but I was still able to meet with the second in command, the Deputy Minister of Administration. This was after being stuck in traffic, walking the rest of the way, climbing to the 6th floor where her office is, and hearing that she had just left because we were late. Fortunately, she came back while we were still in the area, and I had to climb the 6th floors again. I am sure I did not smell the best. Her name is Hawah Goll-Kotchi. I was able to ask her questions about Liberia's education system, and the plans they have for special education.
Overall, Liberia's education system is in desperate need. After the war, the few schools that remained in tact, are jam packed. Overflowing with students. There are few teachers left, since most fled during the war. The children who grew up during the war, are now illiterate adults. And there are a countless amount of children who are now physically disabled with no hands or legs.
The hardest thing for me to swallo, is that there is no special education in place. None. They have established an office and a "department," but there are no trained people to work in it. There is no training for special ed teachers at the university, and no laws to protect the many people with special needs, including the deaf.
There is hope. The ministry is starting to rebuild their education system. And the hope for the deaf, lie in the hands of the few Liberian who are willing to fight for their education and their acceptance, as well as the deaf Liberians themselves. I am working with these kinds of people now, and am encouraged daily by their faith and their determination.
Well, that is what I have been doing. Aaron will post soon about his buisness. I am still working on pictures. Our connection is not very good so it takes a long time!