The Pro – Education Association for the Deaf has a lot to say to the country
They receive in arrears a subsidy of less than 1 Myrna pesos that does not let them cover their expenses
SANTO DOMINGO. With 10 schools distributed in Greater Santo Domingo and other areas of the country, 1200 students, 93 professors and a monthly subsidy of RD$750,000, the National School for the Deaf, which just celebrated 45 years of work, has to function.
“In this institution we work for love,” says Myrna Brugal de Jana, the President of the Pro – Education Association for the Deaf, after giving details about how the average salary of a teacher is RD$8000 a month and that teaching assistants earn RD$5000 and they have gone years without a salary increase.
She adds that those who earn the highest monthly wage do not take home more than RD$12,000 a month.
The money of the subsidy is divided into RD$500,000 a month which is contributed by the Ministry of Education and RD$250,000 from Public Health. Of the total, there is RD $24,000 left over after having paid the personnel, and of this amount, they spend RD$23,000 just in fuel for the 3 buses that they have that provide transportation for students in Greater Santo Domingo.
Added to all of this, in the Association they are anxiously waiting for the subsidy checks to complete the payment of the payroll of 31 January.
“I am hoping that next month I will be able to cover the deficit of last month and this month I’m going to pass it on the same way, because since there is an arrears by one of the ministries, there is chaos in the offices,” said Brugal de Jana.
When they opened the branches in the provinces, some 30 years ago, their collaborators were assigned a salary of RD$2000, which is still in force on the payroll.
So, they survive receiving gifts, which are very scarce and come from just five companies that contribute RD$1000 a month.
The students are not charged for their lessons, those that can, contribute a monthly quota of RD $1500 for fuel and only 30% pay and, among these there are 28 scholarships through a program from the United States.
These limitations keep the Association from having more schools in the provinces, so that the deaf that live in the countryside and other towns can have the opportunity to receive an quality education, as well as train more professors.
“It is also good thing that all of the business community, as well as all of the public sector, knows that without assistance we can do none of this; we are trying hard, it is sad to know that one is going into the desert and nobody hears us,” said Brugal de Jana.
She said that it is not necessary to take RD $100,000 out of a pocket, that there are other ways to cooperate with contributions of supplies as well as human resources to implement new programs that will result in greater work opportunities for the deaf.
She gave as an example that if an institution changes computers, because they need equipment that is faster, they can take what they have to the school where they can use them.
Another manner of helping the school is with scholarships where they can choose between a basic scholarship which covers just fuel and for which they require a contribution of RD $15,000 for the school year.
There is another scholarship which is RD $23,000 for the same period, and includes uniforms and books for the student.
What is positive
The president of the Pro – Education Association for the Deaf says that she is not a person who likes to just complain, and so, she speaks with pride of the fact that last year the school graduated 36 high school graduates and they have had a total of 276 graduates in the 47 years that they had been working.
She said that many have managed to insert themselves in the labor market and they are part of the good news that they intend to project to the country, such as our students and graduates that can talk, in spite of the fact that there was a stage of their lives when they did not know how and that they achieved this thanks to the efforts and the techniques used by their teachers that helped them to speak and to read lips.
The school contributed to the National Plan of Literacy and graduated 74 deaf adults who because of a lack of opportunity could not attend a school.
In addition to the academic offerings, at the educational centers there are extracurricular activities such as theater and acting, computers, beauty salon techniques, handicrafts, art, choral groups, folk dancing, the celebration of patriotic holidays, preventive health care and other activities.
They also offer to the community and at low costs, services of hearing and speech therapy, psychology and orientation, occupational therapy, interpretation of sign language, as well as literacy and job training.
The deaf can be educated and inserted into society
The Pro – Education Association for the Deaf (SFL) decided to take the step and report what they are and what they can do to help children and adults with hearing disabilities.
They started a campaign with which they want to make themselves known in order for the parents to know that there are schools in different points of the country where they can seek professional help, because the deaf are the same as the rest of the people, they only came into the world with a disability.
The initiative is based on informing people as to what they are, where the branches are that they have in the country, the services that they offer to the community, their academic offerings and their extracurricular activities. “Visit us, we will show you are a great little world at the National School for the Deaf! It is very emotional!”, Is one of the slogans of the campaign.
If you are interested in helping them you can visit them on the 27 February Ave. #251, “because they’re hundreds of deaf that cannot study because of a lack of economic resources.”
The entity founded in 1969 by Luis Manuel Pimentel and his wife Beatriz Castillo (deceased), whose first daughter was born both deaf and dumb, has branches in Santiago, La Vega, La Romana, Higüey, bani, San Cristobal and Barahona, where the same as they offer services to Greater Santo Domingo, they offer programs and training of the highest international standards, according to their directors.
February 9, 2015
Category: DR News |