Police recruits learn sign language

POLICE in Zimbabwe are now covering sign language as part of their training in a bid to accommodate the marginalised communities in the country.

This comes as the country’s Constitution has set provisions for sign language to be recognised as one of the official languages.
Sign language was previously not a requisite for police officers.

Organisations that advocate for people with hearing impairment have been advocating for public offices to be capacitated so as to serve that population as they argued that they were being denied crucial human rights through exclusion

They felt that they have not been able to enjoy being citizens of Zimbabwe and sometimes failing to access justice services as well as finding it difficult to access health services among others.

Officiating at the graduation of 593 police officers in Harare recently President Robert Mugabe revealed that the learning of languages by the officers would improve their efficiency.

The police officers who graduated learnt other local languages as part of their training with 28 being conferred with best recruits’ certificates.

“Noteworthy, the introduction of the teaching of local and sign languages, is a fundamental aspect of this new curriculum which ensures that all officially recognised languages are treated equitably

“Certainly, this constitutional requirement is not only cardinal for the creation of an inclusive society but emboldens police effectiveness, through the creation of strong community relations,” Mugabe said.

The police also upgraded their training to a year programme, from the previous six months to incorporate attachment at various stations across the country.

“I believe this large contingent comprising 340 men and 253 women police recruits, is an indication of our resolve to combat the increasingly alarming incident of crime in our country.

“With time we would ultimately like to attain a comfortable and manageable police-population ratio, where one police officer is to serve a certain number of people,” Mugabe said 

“But our war against crime cannot be solely premised on the mass production of police officers. It is absolutely necessary to improve the quality of our police training. Such training should be thorough as to prevail over the not only sophisticated but versatile modern day criminal.” — Bridget Mananavire

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