After our visit to scola n°37 we continued driving to visit another school, the only special education center for for children with special needs and disabilities in this province.
The welcome was short but warm, followed us being allowed to visit all classes, listening and observing. Already in the first classroom my breath was taken away, as I saw how the children with bad hearing abilities learned sign language. Out of interest I learn the sign language myself, what in Austria we call ÖGS (“Österreichische Gebärdensprache”). Therefore it was especially interesting for me to follow the class.
Both sign languages, the Austrian and the Angolan, are internationally recognized but still there are quite a few differences. I noticed for example that the Angolan sign language does not use as much facial expression as we do in Austria. In Austria that is a very important part of the sign language, as it helps to express feeling, emotions and can emphasize how we want to tell a story. In the Austrian sign language a lot of the gestures are the same but the expression with the mouth gives each of them a different meaning. This way one can express a lot of things with not too many gestures. In a way its like having an enriched vocabulary.
It was also interesting to see that the alphabet and many words were expressed differently.
After vising all the classrooms, we had the chance to ask first the teachers and then the students some questions and take fun photos together.