VOICES OF TEACHERS OF THE DEAF STUDENTS AT A HIGH SCHOOL IN SWAZILAND: A NARRATIVE INQUIRY
Hearing teachers are often blamed for the poor academic performance of their Deaf students. Therefore, this study sought to explore the lived educational experiences of teachers of Deaf students at a High School in Swaziland through their own narratives. The study addressed the following question: What are the lived educational experiences of hearing teachers of the Deaf at a High School for the Deaf in Swaziland? The population for the study was eight, comprised of six high school teachers and two teachers from primary who taught the first group of Deaf students that successfully navigated their way through senior level schooling. The study adopted a qualitative design and utilized interpretative phenomenological approach; hence data were collected through in-depth, one-on-one, face to face interviews, using the audio video recording. Data were analyzed and several themes emerged from the teachers’ narratives. Education policy documents which legalize general education and issues related to the education of learners with learning disabilities in the country, were also reviewed in order to locate the study within the education context of Swaziland. Findings of this study revealed that teachers of the Deaf face several challenges when teaching Deaf students, especially at high school level. The challenges include lack of training and proficiency in Swazi Sign Language skills when joining Schools for the Deaf and lack of signs for the taught concepts. There is a need to adapt the regular curriculum to suit the educational needs of Deaf students and more time is needed to cover the syllabus.