Special school excels

2016-12-07 06:01
Embracing their awards of first prize for excellence in special needs school in the Northern Cape are from the left Roseline Clark (teacher at the Jannie Brink Special School), Sylvia Lucas (premier), Joey Jahnig (Jannie Brink), Ann Isaks (head of department of autism at the Jannie Brink School), Tshepo Pharasi (head of the Department of Education), Martha Bartlett (MEC for Education in the province) and Antoinette Fourie. Photo: Supplied

Embracing their awards of first prize for excellence in special needs school in the Northern Cape are from the left Roseline Clark (teacher at the Jannie Brink Special School), Sylvia Lucas (premier), Joey Jahnig (Jannie Brink), Ann Isaks (head of department of autism at the Jannie Brink School), Tshepo Pharasi (head of the Department of Education), Martha Bartlett (MEC for Education in the province) and Antoinette Fourie. Photo: Supplied

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The Jannie Brink Special School prides itself for walking away with the first price for excellence in special needs schools in the province.

The school was amongst the educators and schools who were recognised on Tuesday evening, 22 November, during the Northern Cape Teaching Awards 2016 hosted at the Flamingo Casino.

The awards highlighted excellence in the teaching profession and the roles fulfilled by teachers in developing the future of the Northern Cape Province.

The educator at the autistic children’s department of the school, Roseline Clarke, went on stage to receive certificates for participation, for the cluster and as the overall award winner.

Elaborating on her role as an educator at Jannie Brink, Clarke mostly appreciated the full participation of the parents of the learners that she works with.

She revealed that her section caters for children aged between 5 to 16 years, who are catered for by herself and an assistent teacher.

“Our children with autism have different developmental levels and are intellectually challenged.

“They either have low or no communication capabilities,” this qualified social worker said, “and their social cohesion level is very poor.”

According to Clarke, the reason why she changed careers from a social worker to be an educator at a special needs school is due to the experience of bringing up her own child who is autistic.

She partly wanted to give support to those who needed her assistance through her own experience.

Clarke added that she and her assistent are fortunate to be well trained in handling autism.

According to the friendly teacher and mother, children with autism will never be able to cope independently and will therefore always be the responsibility of their parents.

“The sad part of the matter is that people tend to become impatient and judgemental with them.

“The children also, on the other hand, become frustra-ted by being unable to communicate effectively.”

The ninth annual World Autism Awareness Day is on 2 April 2017. Every year, autism organizations around the world celebrate the day with unique fundraising and awareness-raising events.

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