An education for all

2018-10-31 06:00

THERE is growing concern about the high number of disabled children that are not part of the South African education system.

Children with disabilities face many hurdles when trying to access the schooling system in SA, this according to recent studies conducted by Autism South Africa.

The estimated figure of children with disabilities that are currently not part of the system is close to 500 000.

Speaking of some of the challenges they face, Director of Autism South Africa Sandy Usswald said: “These include stigma in our communities, physical barriers such as no wheelchair access, or toilets at schools, and attitudinal barriers.

“There is a misperception that children with disabilities are more difficult to teach or include in the classroom, or that they will bring down the learning environment for other children, when in fact studies have proven that the learning experience actually improves in an inclusive classroom, both for the children with and without disabilities.”

Some of the other barriers include knowledge and skills barriers among the teachers that are ill-equipped in appropriate teaching methodologies to facilitate a meaningful learning environment for all, and practice barriers such as children with disabilities who are unable to use the toilet independently and who are excluded from the mainstream and even special school system.

Usswald said: “These are just a few of the challenges that our children face, which are easily overcome with a change in attitude and an inclusive education mindset.

“We are currently on a country-wide campaign to collect the names and details of these children so that we can approach the Department of Education to demand that these children are placed into beneficial learning environments to suit their needs.

“Unfortunately, teacher training does not cover inclusive education or strategies to provide access to the curriculum for children with disabilities.

“We strongly encourage teachers to reach out to relevant and accredited training organisations who work within the disability sector to support them to increase their knowledge and skills and provide on-site classroom support for them.

“I have found that teachers with passion and a positive attitude towards children with disabilities really make the difference.

“Resources come second to a passion and belief that our children are able to succeed with the support that they as individuals require.”

Usswald added that they have been inundated with complaints from parents of children with disabilities who are currently out of school. These parents reported on difficulties they faced when trying to enrol their children into mainstream or special needs schools.

“We are now working on collecting information to present to the national Department of Education in order to demand that they place children with disabilities into a school suited to their needs.

“In order to do this, we need parents to fill out a form telling us about their children and how long the child has been out of school. We can provide parents with the form if they email us,” she said.

Autism SA said the intention is to get the Department of Education to take their demands seriously when they show the department how many children with disabilities are out of school.

Parents who wish to participate in the campaign can call Autism SA at 011 484 9909 or visit https://goo.gl/forms/Kniyp2DA80iKVp9t2 or e-mail director@autismsouthafrica.org

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Reporting Accountant

Cape Town
Network Finance Professional / Prudential
R310 000.00 - R360 000.00 Per Year

Cluster Financial Manager

Cape Town
Network Finance
R950 000.00 - R1 000 000.00 Per Year

HSE Manager

Cape Town
Tumaini Consulting
R550 000.00 - R650 000.00 Per Year

Property [change area]

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.