New MSc. Speech and Language Therapy Program Launched in AAU

Addis Ababa University (AAU), Department of Special Needs and Inclusive Education, Department of Neurology and Department of Surgery collaboratively designed and introduced a new curriculum to launch the first MSc. Program in Speech and Language Therapy at Mandella Hall on the 27th of July 2022.

The main objective of launching this MSc. program is to produce qualified professionals who can help and train children and adults who are in speech, language, and writing problems due to being born with them naturally or occurred later because of various diseases.

Yekoyealem Dessie (PhD), Dean for College of Education and Behavioral Studies (CEBS) said that an agreement between two colleges and three departments was signed earlier and reached at this level today that can be a role model for other departments, colleges as well as universities.

Dr. Yekoyealem stated that the main reason for opening this program is the growing need of professionals to address the increasing problems of speech and language disorders due to various conditions. It would be good if the program is supported by practical training beyond the academic education and provides services to the victims along the way, he said further.

Professor Tirusew Teferra, from Department of Special Needs and Inclusive Education on his part said that this program is the first program in Ethiopia. “As it is known in our country, many children have language, speech, and writing problems and there are no experts to help these children. So, this program is opened to fill this gap,” he added.

According to Prof. Tirusew, the BA degree program for Speech and Language Therapy was started five years ago in the department, and since there are a few in the country to train students in the field, experts from different foreign countries including Norway, Canada, Australia and the Netherlands have been brought to fill the gap.

Therefore, these trained speech therapists work with children who have speech problems such as stammer, stutter, voice disturbance, or cleft palate (after first being surgically threated). It is known that not being proficient in language has a lot of harm things, so this speech and language practice will bring a great change to the victims and it deserves a lot of attention in our country,” Prof. Tirusew underlined.

Reporter: Tsion Aysheshim

Photo: Fikremariam Beyene

Editor: Abraham Girmay