Fighting the outbreak of Covid-19 in schools, the DBE has identified a need for improving learning outcomes amongst learners with special needs.
Director for Inclusive Education, Mr Jabulani Ngcobo, said that the DBE and Provincial Education Departments (PEDs) share a common goal in terms of improving quality education in schools. The emphasis therefore remains a focal point in addressing learning barriers amongst learners with special needs during the current administration. “The DBE is responsible for providing a conducive policy environment, as well as supporting implementation and monitoring. The PEDs, therefore, are responsible for policy implementation in all public schools and community-based institutions, such as special care centres,” explained Mr Ngcobo.
To ensure safety within the context of Covid-19, the DBE developed guidelines for schools with learners with disabilities through wide consultation with, and participation of civil society. In addition, the DBE entered into a partnership with SANTAM Insurance and the National Disaster Management Centre regarding disaster risk management planning for public schools, prioritising special schools.
In addition, Mr Ngcobo said that, “SANTAM has made a significant donation to 81 special schools in four provinces, namely, the Free State, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape and North- West. The consignment received by each school contains two of the following: pressurised manual sprayers, hazmat suits, respirators, goggles, gloves and chemicals. All schools will be trained in the storage, handling and safe usage of the equipment and chemicals. The cost of sanitising a school, depending on the size and complexity of services it provides, ranges from R10,000 to R20,000. This donation brings relief to the sector as the equipment and materials will now be the property of these schools and they will no longer have to wait long periods for service providers to decontaminate infected schools”