Top honours for visually impaired matrics

Top honours for visually impaired matricsChalkboard

Despite having attended classes in dilapidated buildings, the disabled pupils of Rivoni School for the Blind in rural Limpopo have managed to pass their matric with flying colours.

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Blind student doing her lessons. (Credit: Flickr/ Mark Lennox)
Blind student doing her lessons. (Credit: Flickr/ Mark Lennox)

Rivoni School for the Blind is situated in the Elim area, near Elim Hospital and caters mostly to the visually impaired. But conditions at the school are so poor that last year some of the pupils took to protesting in an effort to get the Limpopo Education Department to fix their facilities.

Top pupils

Yet despite having been impacted by weeks of protests, The Rivoni School for the Blind managed to produce top performers among the Matric Class of 2016. The school produced three pupils ranking among the top 20 best performers in the country.

Despite having been impacted by weeks of protests, The Rivoni School for the Blind managed to produce top performers among the Matric Class of 2016.

The school’s top pupil Zacharia Nyathi, who is near-sighted, said “I am happy I am among the best performers in the country. I managed this despite having had many challenges. One was that my eyes would get extremely sore from just reading off white paper, making it very hard to study. But I am happy I have managed to accomplish my childhood dream.”

He added: “My dream now is to go to university and study law as my biggest wish is to help the poor people who are being failed by our justice system.”

Rivoni School for the Blind had nine pupils in their matric class last year. Six of them graduated with a bachelor pass, while the other three attained diploma passes.

Protest for better conditions

Nyathi was among the pupils who protested for better conditions at the Rivoni school during the year. Yet still nothing has been done, despite the Limpopo Department of Education having provided the school with mobile toilets last year.

Last year Health-e News reported how the blind Rivoni pupils were forced to attend classes in dilapidated buildings which posed a danger to them. The school toilets were also broken. Yet nothing has been done to repair the classrooms or fix the toilets, despite ongoing protests by the pupils themselves.

School principal Connie Mabaso said: “I am humbled by the huge success of our three top pupils. Their hard work has finally paid off despite the challenges we encountered as a school through the whole year of 2016. I am so happy for them and wish them the best of luck going forward.”