The Chris Hani West Department of Education in the Eastern Cape has called upon the government to provide easy access to education for children with special needs.
This was during the department’s Disability Rights Awareness Month campaign, which was held at the Gali Thembani Centre on Friday morning.
Speaking to Inside Education, the department’s Queenstown district’s deputy director, Madoda Ndembe, said there weren’t enough services available to students with disabilities to match their requirements.
“The challenge we have here in our district, is that most of the schools that we have, are not accessible to children with special needs, because you’d find that they don’t have rails for learners in wheelchairs and you’d find that the facilities in general, are not favourable to people living with disabilities,” said Ndembe.
Ndembe said the department of education also needs to play its role in ensuring children with special needs have access to basic education like every other learner.
“As the department of education, we need to make sure that we’re playing our role as expected,” said Ndembe.
“You’d find that its not easy to place these learners into special schools and because of this, they are then forced to wait on long lists to gain access to a school and by the time there’s space, you’ll find that they’ve already progressed in age.”
“This makes it hard for their parents, as they tend to lose hope in the fact that their children will be given the opportunity to gain access to a school built for their special needs,” concluded Ndembe.