By Inemesit Akpan-Nsoh, Uyo,
Akwa Ibom State Government has approved a one-year internship and attachments for all workers, who undertook training in Sign Language.
According the state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Ini Ememobong, the development is geared towards intensifying knowledge of the specialised communication skill, as it is very strategic in reaching wider audiences, including the deaf in the process of information dissemination.
This is contained in a statement made available to The Guardian by the Public Relations Director of the Ministry of Information and Strategy, Mrs Grace Akpan.
According to the statement, the commissioner spoke during a Programme Completion ceremony organised for workers who embarked on a six-month government sponsored Sign Language training.
“The one year internship will equip them with the capacity to effectively deploy sign language in the dissemination of news and other critical government information to everyone, including the deaf.
“Sign Language has become very critical, especially for the propagation of government’s activities and the Completion Agenda to all residents in the state, irrespective of gender, age or physical abilities,” he said.
He maintained that the state government, through the Ministry of Information and Strategy, undertook the training sponsorship to prepare its workforce for expanded strategic roles as agents of government communication.
“As a government, we permanently seek to include everybody, especially those with special needs, in the communication process in order to meet programme goals of government.
“This programme keys into the human capacity development plank of the Governor’s Completion Agenda”, he sais, adding that as information officers with the duty to propagate activities of government, it became expedient to build their capacity on relevant skills that will effectively boost their communication activities.
In his speech, the Permanent Secretary, Akparawa James Edet, said the sign language internship, which is the first of its kind in the Ministry and indeed the state would offer trainees the opportunity to be effectively equipped to communicate the Governor’s Completion Agenda to every nook and cranny of the state to reach every segment of the society.
Earlier, the Director of Administration and Coordinator of the programme, Mrs Tiuba Nduonofit, disclosed that the trainees were shortlisted after a pre-selection interview conducted to test their level of preparedness and interest for the specialised communication field and congratulated them on the successful completion of the programme.
The trainer, a certified advanced Sign language tutor, and a medical surgeon, Dr. Uduakabasi Idiong, said the six months programme was very tasking and challenging and commended the workers that scaled through to the completion stage.