The CEHIC Today (2017)

At present the Centre has about 70 children in nine classes in its morning Pre-School, ranging from the age of eight months up to five years of age. About 12 children between the ages of eight months to two years are included in the newly developed Early Intervention Programme of CEHIC.

One parent, usually the mother, sits-in with the child in the classroom and learns the teaching techniques alongside the child. The five-year old children, in their final year in the pre-school, are prepared for integration into the mainstream educational system. Since its founding in 1982, nearly 575 hearing impaired children from the CEHIC have been integrated into the mainstream educational system through various schools throughout Sri Lanka.

The integrated children who live within a reasonable travelling distance of the CEHIC attend the Centre for daily classes in the afternoons. Trained teachers in subjects like Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Sinhalese, English, Tamil etc. take the classes from Year One upwards. The CEHIC youngsters who are sitting for the Ordinary Level and Advanced Level examinations are given extra help on weekends apart from their regular weekly afternoon classes.

At present there are about 45 children attending the afternoon integrated education programme. Eight former students of CEHIC have obtained university degrees here in Sri Lanka and another four are currently undergraduates.

The strong belief in a holistic approach to education and the importance of concern for the environment and surroundings in which education takes place is a part of the ethos of the CEHIC. The children and parents are taught cleanliness and to care for their Centre, its buildings, grounds and equipment. This same care, concern and cleanliness is then invariably continued in their homes much to the delight of their family members.

The holistic educational programme at the CEHIC takes place mainly on Saturdays. All the children of the Centre attend for classes in the various arts and crafts, sewing, dressmaking, cookery, carpentry, pottery, music and dancing, and western marching band. Sports is an important aspect of this programme and it reaches its activity peak at the Centre’s Sports Meet. The Centre’s Gymnastic Team has reached a high level of excellence and has taken part in many national events over the years. Trained teachers and experts in the field are recruited on a part-time basis to conduct this holistic education programme under the guidance of Sr. Greta.

Regular workshops and seminars are held throughout the school year for the teachers and the parents, on various subjects and issues related to the education, training, integration and socialization of hearing impaired children and their families. Annual school events such as the Parents’ Day, Children’s Day and Teachers’ Day and other events such as educational exhibitions and concerts are also held. Every year, all the major religious and national festivals are celebrated in the school. Vesak and Poson are celebrated with great devotion and on a big scale, while Christmas has become a popular Children’s feast.