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The launch of the inclusive-education programme at Tshilwavhusiku Razwikisani Special School. From left to right are MP Carol Phiri, MEC for Education Mavhungu Lerule-Ramakhanya, Vhembe's executive mayor, Freda Nkondo, and Makhado Mayor Dorcus Mboyi. Photo: Kaizer Nengovhela.

Schools must cater for the disabled

 

Children with special needs must feel welcome at schools, and the education system needs to work actively towards accommodating learners with disabilities, said the MEC for Education in Limpopo, Ms Mavhungu Lerule-Ramakhanya. She launched the inclusive-education programme at Tshilwavhusiku Razwimisani Special School on Monday (22nd).

The event was attended by different traditional leaders, Vhembe’s executive mayor, Freda Nkondo, Makhado Mayor Dorcus Mboyi, different principals from special schools around the province, community members, and parents.

Ramakhanya stated that the Department of Education had paid specific attention to how children with barriers to learning, including disabilities, might be assessed to determine the levels of support needed to maximise opportunities for success in mainstream classrooms.

She emphasised that inclusive education celebrates diversity among learners and “encourages the creation of welcoming cultures in schools and ensuring participation of all learners, so that they are all valued and they all feel they belong”.

Ramakhanya mentioned that the department had trained more than 500 educators, preparing them for inclusive education. She noted that, previously, learners with barriers to learning had either not been supported, been given irrelevant support, or been referred for admission to special schools without outlining their support needs. This resulted in some learners’ dropping out of school, while others were being admitted to the wrong special schools.

Ramakhanya urged parents to stop abusing disabled children and to stop using them as sources of income. She emphasised that disability grants should be used for their intended purpose.

Vhamusanda Vho Ntsundeni Sinthumule, who attended the event, urged the community not to push these people away. "We have this kind of event because we want to show disabled and challenged people that we love and accept them in our houses and community.”

 

 

Date:27 April 2024

By: Kaizer Nengovhela

Kaizer Nengovhela started writing stories for Limpopo Mirror in 2000. Prior to that he had a five year stint at Phala-Phala FM as sports presenter. In 2005 Kaizer received an award from the province's premier as Best Sports Presenter. The same year he was also nominated as Best Sports Reporter by the Makhado Municipality. Kaizer was awarded the Mathatha Tsedu award in 2014.

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