Cape Town pupils to learn about abuse with baby simulators

By Drum Digital
24 August 2015

Cape Town - Pupils at Cape Town public schools will soon have access to dolls that simulate the effects of various forms of abuse on babies.

Each school district would receive a healthy baby simulator, a substance abuse addiction simulator, a foetal alcohol syndrome simulator and a shaken baby syndrome simulator.

"The supply chain management processes are under way and we hope to finalise the acquisition by the end of this year," said the city’s social development and early childhood development mayoral committee member Suzette Little.

"These simulators are crucial learning tools that help drive home some very hard truths to learners and I believe it will be a worthwhile investment."

Through the simulation exercises, dolls would cry and behave as any baby when "exposed" to these forms of abuse.

The city was expanding the use of these simulators following a pilot project at six primary schools earlier this year.

A total of 120 pupils interacted with a foetal alcohol syndrome simulator during an after-hours programme.

Little said these were one of several interventions rolled out as part of an overall substance abuse programme.

"We are trying to change mind-sets and in so doing help restore a very fragile social fabric and embolden children in particular in order to make them less vulnerable," Little said.

"There is no magic wand and we will only really see the impact in years to come, based on whether there is a shift in patterns of dependence, abuse and related social ills."


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