MoRA teachers to benefit from cued speech training

National 2 minutes, 5 seconds

THE Religious Special Education unit under Ministry of Religious Affair (MoRA) hopes to improve the skills of its teachers by training them in cued speech, to cater to the hearing and speech impaired students.

Assistant Head of Religious Special Education Hjh Normadiah Hj Bini said currently there are 15 special needs students enrolled in religious schools across the country.

However among the 100 over religious schools listed under MoRA, there are currently no certified cued speech specialists in Brunei to teach special needs students in reciting the Quran.

She said cued speech is essential in teaching students with hearing impaired or speech disorder to recite the Quran based on the melody, fluency and voice.

While most are familiar with sign language, very few people know about cued speech - an alternative means of communication for individuals who are deaf, have difficulties in hearing or have language disorders by using hand-shapes and placement, combined with mouth movements, in order to communicate, said the MoRA official.

Hjh Normadiah said she hopes for more religious teachers to be qualified in cued speech so they can assist special needs students in performing religious obligations such as daily prayers.

 “In Islam reading the Quran requires Tajweed (the knowledge and application of the rules of recitation and articulacy) and not using sign language, we must use voice. Even though special needs students are not able to recite the Quran perfectly, our focus is to train these students by using cued speech to use their voice and recite the Quran,” she said.

 Nine teachers from the special education unit under MoRA will undergo a four-day programme on cued speech in Kuala Lumpur, to further assist Bruneian students who are hearing and speech impaired to recite the Quran.

 The trip will give teachers the opportunity to visit the Cued Speech Centre in Kg Pandan of Kuala Lumpur and observe the trainers in conducting lessons using cued speech method.

She added that by holding this trip, teachers will be able to improve their lessons and apply best practices learned from their Malaysian counterpart.

“We hope to learn from them (cued speech specialist in Malaysian) and to apply it in Brunei through workshops so teachers can have better knowledge of cued speech,” she said.

 She added that with proper cued speech coaching, special needs students can be taught to vocalise and speak.

“This can assist them not only in terms of communicating, but also in terms of reading, writing, learning and expressing their thoughts to others,” she said.

The Brunei Times