This publication contains additional information to the initial publication that accompanies the school directory that was published a few months ago. The important thing about this publication is the specifications that are presented by the few data we deem important to publish due to public demand. Be informed that we are still searching and researching, building a reliable database about Deaf in Nigeria that would include every relevant and needed information.

When we started our community engagement outreaches in Nigerian deaf community late 2013, we wanted to know how many schools for the Deaf in the country as to know how much work we had to do. We searched the internet, and all other sources from where we hoped to get the needed, but to no avail. The closest information we got was a publication by Excellence and Education Network, with about 22 schools represented. We found out that the 3 schools in Imo State where we started our project were not represented on the publication, we concluded that the publication could not be a correct representation of the number of schools for the Deaf in Nigeria.

Consequently, we became motivated to research on this; we became inspired to publish the first comprehensive directory of Schools for the Deaf in Nigeria. Four years after, we are proud to have come up with something we could be proud of – a near comprehensive data about the schools for the Deaf in Nigeria published at:

This directory, we believe is more defined and more comprehensive than any information we had gotten in the past and anyone that is out there. This is not yet a complete directory of Schools for the Deaf in Nigeria, and some of the information on this publication have not been verified by our field team, especially about schools where we have not had our outreach. Such information was provided to us by deaf individuals who know those schools, parents of deaf children and other individuals who come from those communities.

It is important to state at this point that the first set of schools for the Deaf in Nigeria, in Lagos, Ibadan and Kaduna were established by Andrew Foster in conjunction with the Federal Government. Dr. Foster was an African American deaf missionary, who dedicated his life and mission to teaching deaf children in some parts of Africa using signed language, especially at a time when education for deaf children was not developed in these African countries and deaf children were taught with speech and to “speak” – a method referred to as oralism. Andrew Foster started his work in Nigeria in 1960, when many indigenous signed languages had scarcely developed. Some scholars believe that Foster was fluent in American Sign Language (ASL) and Signed English, and that he taught deaf children in Africa with these two varieties of signed language, in most cases, ignoring the indigenous and village signs that were emerging.

In this directory, we have classified the schools according to three major types:

  1. Specialized – schools that have only deaf students – may be residential or non-residential.
  2. Inclusive – schools that have deaf students and students with other disabilities.
  3. Mainstream – schools that have deaf and hearing students, but most times, the deaf students have separate classes.

Note: these may not be the terms used to classify these schools according to Federal Government policy for deaf education. It is our understanding that education for People with Disabilities (PWDs) in Nigeria is still facing a lot of challenges and one of the most challenging areas is Deaf education. For instance, it appears that the definition of inclusive education and what is being practiced in the country are two different things. This has also been acknowledged on the “National Policy on Special Needs Education in Nigeria”, (2015). We found it difficult to define a school that both hearing and deaf students/pupils plus students with other disabilities, whereby the deaf students and students with other disabilities are secluded from the hearing students unto a unit, or a school where the deaf students are identified with a different shade of school uniform or badge. We found it difficult to classify a school with both hearing and deaf students whereby the hearing students were warned at home not relate to the deaf student to avoid contracting deafness. Yet all these schools are classified as inclusive. In our view, they are inclusive without inclusion.

Other sub classification terms on our directory include:

  1. Public – schools owned and run by the government
  2. Private – schools owned and run by individuals (and sometimes faith-based organizations).

From our data so far, most deaf schools are public schools and are either totally free or with minimum fees. One thing all the schools we have visited share in common is that the deaf students are taught with the same English Sign Language (Signed English or Signing Exact English), and that up to 90% of the teachers are hearing many of whom had little or no training for Deaf Education. The second thing common with all the schools is that they have very few teachers who can sign. We have found this to be a huge challenge for the schools but more so for the students and we hope that the federal government will treat it as urgent.

From our knowledge of Global Standard on a typical classroom setting for deaf students, we conclude that classrooms for deaf students in Nigeria are largely overpopulated. A typical classroom for deaf students goes between 6 and 12 students per class per teacher. Going by that, the 119 schools for Deaf documented on our School Directory should have a total of 6404 teachers, but by our calculated projection, the 119 schools seem to have about 923 teachers, giving the percentage for the status met in relation to the Global Standard to only 14%. Our projection is realized from the fact that schools with the highest number of teachers have up to 20 teachers who teach deaf students (more of whom are non-signing teachers), while schools with the lowest number of teachers have about 4. On the other hand, most mainstream (and inclusive) schools have an average of 40 students (who are most times in one class), while most specialized schools have average of 50 students in a class.

Table 1: showing the ratio of teachers to the deaf students and percentage according to global standard.


Global Standard Status met % met
Minimum number Estimated total in 119 Schools
1. No. of teachers 1 6,404 923 14
2. No. of students 6-12 63,506 63,506+


To view our School Directory, logon to: You can add any school for the Deaf you know that is not represented on the directory or the information about any school you know is correctly represented. Our IT Admin will add such information or change. We encourage our Target Population and our fans to view the School Directory.


We acknowledge all persons that provided us with information about the schools published on this directory. We may not mention you by names, but we appreciate you so much. We would also need your assistance as we seek to complete the directory to contain all schools with other details this directory will contain. We are a team in this! Thank you! Great thanks too, to the IT Department led by Joseph Uchenna Ibeh, who worked night and day to publish this material, and the entire Team S-DELI for their supports.

By Emma Asonye, PhD,

Onyinyechi Nwandikom