R 107 m - Department Prioritizes Special Education


Kimberley - Keen focus on learners with special education needs is becoming an integral feature of inclusive education in order to promote access to teaching and learning even for learners from rural and farming communities.

More than 1 717 learners with special education needs go to 11 special schools around the Northern Cape Province every day and they are being taught based on their Individual Support plans. Frances Baard district has the highest number of these learners.


These learners are placed from the mainstream school through the Screening, Assessment, Identification and Support (SIAS) process and they are been taught according to their support needs.


Most of the special schools provide accommodation for learners who come from far-flung areas and these include the likes of Boitumelo, Kimberley Training Centre (KTC), Retlameleng and Jannie Brink respectively.


The Northern Cape Department of Education has set aside more than R100 m to fast track accessibility of special schools to all learners with special educational needs. This allocation would also assist in the improvement of specialized, training and equipment for both learners and educators, appointment of additional class assistants, expansion of hostels and classes.


Given the unique nature of some learners’ educational needs, funding remains a challenge.  Adaptation of transport to accommodate learners with physical barriers, affordability of hostel fees and scare sign language services are some of the challenges faced by the schools.


However, the financial support from National Lottery Board, Maphalane Children Disabled Trust, Lions Clubs and mining companies operating in the province has come handy for some of the schools.


This year saw a new special school outside Springbok opening its doors to 64 learners through the partnership of the Department and the De Beers diamond mining company.


Academic performance of learners in special schools is also a priority for the Department. In 2013 matric year, Retlameleng and ELCON obtain 100 percent pass rate in the matric results. Learners with scholastic barriers have the opportunity to acquire basic vocational skills like welding, woodwork and hairdressing. They are also afforded the opportunity to partake in sports at national and international level.