‘This centre will cater for the children that are physically or mentally challenged, and also accommodate abused children,’ says Qhamukile principal, Makhosazane Ngubane. The centre is a project by the Department of Education.
Although the key to the centre was handed over to the school on Wednesday, November 21, the centre is not yet fully functional and renovations need to be made to the school buildings to facilitate disabled pupils.
‘I’m very happy with this project because now I know that no child will stay at home because of their problems [disabilities],’ says Ngubane.
There will be qualified doctors, psychologists and social workers at the centre that will help assess children with special needs and help with the management of cases. These professionals will also provide training to teachers at the school on how to work with special-needs children. According to Ngubane, the school has also requested skills training from Childline, an organisation providing support and social services to children.
‘We deal with many cases at the school and we have tried our best to handle them,’ says Ngubane. ‘Some children hurt each other, and there have been cases of child rape. We have even taken some cases to court but sometimes the teacher ends up in court alone without any support, facing the criminal alone and they fear for their lives. With this new centre these cases will be dealt with accordingly,’ says Ngubane.
Lungile Ngubane is an Our Health Citizen Journalist reporting in Umgungundlovu district in KwaZulu-Natal.