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Update posted 7 days ago

Petition to Global Partnership for Education, United Nations, UNICEF

Introduce Sign Language in Early Childhood Education.

The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) defines “early childhood” as occurring before the age of eight, in other words 0-7years and it is during this period that a child goes through the most rapid phase of growth and development. There has been a great movement in the development of early childhood programming by various stakeholders in the philanthropic and educational sector around the world, these efforts you and I will agree is very important for the future of children and holistic education. However, there is an evident gap in the early childhood educational system which has gone unnoticed. Early childhood education for most babies starts right when they are born even though they cannot communicate with the people around them. Research has proven that the use of sign language has proven to be beneficial for children in a wide variety of settings. Teaching sign language to preverbal babies has proven to benefit children in their later years. Research shows that sign language speeds up speech development, reduces frustration in young children by giving them a means to express themselves before they know how to talk, increases parent-child bonding, and lets babies communicate vital information, such as if they are hurt or hungry. Infants who learn sign language also are thought to gain psychological benefits, such as improved confidence and self-esteem. Feelings of anger due to an inability to communicate may not occur as often. Having the ability to sign could be a lifesaver when a child is too flustered to speak clearly, research states. It has also been suggested that learning sign language can delay speech, but this is negated by experts who claim that in fact, it aids speech development. Most babies, who can sign, speak earlier than babies who do not learn sign language. Considering that the future of early childhood education is growing and getting more innovative, coupled with the fact that we are at the beginning of a new decade, it is highly imperative and essential for us to create a new paradigm shift and introduce sign language which according to research, the American Sign Language is now classified as a world language, the same as Spanish, French, or any other foreign language. Since babies cannot speak any language but can sign when introduced, we can make sign language an early childhood language, considering the benefits listed above. Not only will we be changing the early childhood landscape for your child, your friend, brother, sister or neighbors child, but we will be changing the future for the millions of deaf children who cannot access early childhood education because of the lack of inclusive classrooms and environments. Also In July 2019, the Global Partnership for Education, released a knowledge and Innovation Exchange paper. The purpose of this paper is to describe the current landscape in early childhood care and education and spark discussion and debate around potential areas for KIX investment. Research suggests that about 90% of deaf children in developing countries do not have access to quality early childhood education , even though deafness is only a communication disorder and not a learning disability, with sign language being in place as a language in early childhood education, we can gradually integrate deaf pupils into mainstream school systems globally, given the right inclusive curriculum, resources, tools and training to Educators and Teachers, deaf pupils can attain the same learning outcomes as hearing pupils. I am therefore counting on your support to help us take action by signing this petition where thousands of people from across the world are signing to help get sign language into every early childhood classroom around the world, an impact we cannot make without your signature. That is why we are reaching out to you, to help us gather over I million signatures to make this happen.  The future for an inclusive early childhood classroom is just a signature in your hands. Thanks for signing

Lily Kudzro
1,686 supporters