Acknowledgement and Awareness
SEN stands for Special Education Needs and is our unit for pupils who need extra or adjusted education due to their mental impairment. The SEN class started in January 2014. During the trial phase, we started off with 9 pupils and a half day curriculum. Now there are more than 60 pupils and as of January 2015 we will provide a full day curriculum. Pupils of the SEN unit receive individual education wherein appropriate learning methods are applied because every child should have his place within the community.
One of the main challenges was raising awareness for a special needs unit within Baraa Primary School and the Baraa Ward. It was not easy to make local teachers and parents understand that the special needs unit is not a way to stigmatise a child.
On the contrary, we offer individual education, assistance and attention so that children, who would not even come to school, now have the chance to receive adjusted education.
In 2017 iThemba with the support of Dream Networks baraa primary school will build a specially designed playground for the SEN unit.
With the support of Doing Good, iThemba will provide additional furniture and equipment to enhance the pupils learning experience.
iThemba will continue to seek the assistance of volunteer SEN teachers through our partner Step Africa. Throughout the last year volunteer teachers have provided additional teaching support to the unit. They have brought much needed expertise and new initiatives to the Unit.
Progress for SEN Teachers
In January 2016 the SEN Unit moved into purpose built classrooms funded by iThemba. They are brightly decorated and spacious, with an individual desk and chair for each pupil.
The pupils now enjoy dance and drumming and sports sessions. Twenty of the children visited anther school to participate in a sports day.
Volunteer SEN teachers provide additional support for their reading and run and art sessions.
Hand painted cards painted by the SEN pupils raised nearly $200 for the school at a local Christmas Market.