Hopes for increased enrolment for children with special needs at Fatima Primary

By Uluntu Staff

A hostel that is being built by Uluntu Community Foundation at Fatima Primary School in Lupane in Matabeleland North Province is set to bring relief to children living with disability as they will get accommodation whilst attaining their rights to education.

The project will see about 45 children with special needs being housed at the hostel and this will increase enrolment at the school.

Fatima Primary School Headmaster Mr Peter Ngona said the project would give the much-needed relief to parents with children living with disability especially in Matabeleland North, since the school is a referral school in the province.

“It is quite a good project in the sense that our learners with special needs have been struggling to get accommodation. Now that the project is on course, we hope the problem of accommodation will be a thing of the past,” he said.

Mr Ngona added that when the hostel construction is completed, they hope that there will be an increase of enrollment of the children living with disability at the school.

“As a centre in the province that offers education for children with special needs we hope that we will also grow and see an increase in enrolment,” he said.

There has been a major concern in the education sector regarding the number of children living with disabilities that have not been given the opportunity to attain education.

“There is need to give children living with disability their right to education just like any other children, they are our future leaders. I urge all parents, guardians and our society to give them these children their right, let us not deny their right and invest in them as well,” said Uluntu Community Foundation Executive Director, Ms Sibusisiwe Sithole.

However, Mr Ngona decried the notion that educating children with disabilities was a waste of resources.

“ Children living with disabilities should have equal opportunities so that they are able to take care of themselves in the future. We want to set a good foundation for these children so that they acquire life skills and are able to live an independent life,” he said.

The hostel came after the realization that a small community of children living with disability had their right to education impeded. To help alleviate this Uluntu teamed up with a Catholic Priest Father Progress Ncube and a grant from Associazione Amici di Padre Savino – Onlus, saw this vision to have accommodation for children living with disabilities especially those with Hearing Impairment came to fruition.
The school has enrolled children with different disabilities, which include hearing impairment, intellectual challenges, and visual impairment. In most cases children with Down’s Syndrome did not proceed to secondary school because parents had no hope that they would make it in life.

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