Construction to make two schools in the Bitou Municipal area fully accessible to people with disabilities was recently completed and upgrades to a further eight schools in the Eden and Central Karoo Education District are set to follow.
The accessibility project is managed by the district’s Specialised Learner and Educator Support (SLES) Component.
Initial site visits took place to determine the needs of each of the schools.
One of the beneficiaries at Plettenberg Bay Primary School is an eight-year-old boy with Arthrogryposis. Mivuyo Tyanase is wheelchair-bound and writes with his mouth. The school and the Sabrina Love Foundation have done a lot to support Mivi, as he is affectionately known, and he has received a power chair for mobility, a full-time classroom facilitator and a set of portable ramps for access to classes.
After consultation with the school senior management team and governing body, a decision was taken to use the money provided by the Directorate: Inclusive & Specialised Education Support for accessible bathrooms and fixed ramps to improve access to classes, the halls as well as play areas and sports grounds. A team of specialists came on board in November 2018 to assist the Senior District Therapist, Debbie Badenhorst, with this project.
A number of learners at Kwanokuthula Primary School have physical disabilities and the school already have several accessible bathrooms. A decision was therefore made to build three new ramps that would allow wheelchair access to the entire school ground. The ramps were strategically placed in front of the hall, between the two main levels of the school and at the sport grounds.
At the site handover meeting on 23 July 2019, Kwanokuthula Primary School Principal Mlulami Faleni said: “It as a joy to be able to share those moments with the learners who will be benefitting from this project and to see the final project.”
With the completion of these two schools, construction moved to Beaufort West where three more schools are being upgraded. Thereafter, five more schools in the Eden and Central Karoo Education District will be made accessible.
Eden Developments, with Dominique De la Croix at the helm, played a vital role in the overall management of this project. The learners, parents, school staff and WCED officials involved are filled with enormous gratitude and look forward to more collaboration in the future.