Eastern Cape Executive Council assesses school readiness at Maletswai special school

Story: Samkelo Fetile | Photo: Supplied

To make sure the school year gets off to a smooth start, the Eastern Cape Executive Council recently visited the Aliwal North Technical Orientation School (ANTOS), a school for children with special needs. Mayor Cllr Vania Davids of the Walter Sisulu Local Municipality, stepping in for MEC Siphokazi Lusithi, led the visit as she was also the chairperson of the programme. The goal was to see how ready the school is and work with different groups to tackle the challenges faced by students with special needs.

Mayor Cllr Vania Davids played a big role during the visit, representing the town and leading talks about what students at ANTOS need. She said, "Our town is committed to making sure all kids, no matter their abilities, get good education. This visit shows how different parts of our town work together to help kids with special needs."

The visit's success showed in the many people involved. Representatives from the Office of the Premier, South African Police Service (SAPS), South African Democratic Teachers' Union (SADTU), Disabled People Forum, and officials from the Departments of Basic Education, Social Development, Roads and Transport, Safety and Liaison, Human Settlement, and Health all took part.

This team effort from different parts of the town and government shows a strong commitment to helping students with special needs. By bringing together skills and resources, they aimed to help with more than just education – looking at health, safety, and the students' social well-being too.

The visit focused on important areas to make sure students are safe and the school works well. The group looked at the buildings, checked how well the lessons are taught, talked about safety plans, and thought of ways to involve the community better. The goal wasn't just to find problems but to come up with practical solutions that make learning better for students with special needs.

Mayor Cllr Vania Davids stressed the importance, saying, "We are not only thinking about schoolwork. We want to create a place where students feel good physically, emotionally, and socially. By working together, we can make things better for them."

The Eastern Cape Executive Council's visit to the Aliwal North Technical Orientation School shows a big step towards creating a school system that includes and supports everyone. Mayor Cllr Vania Davids' leadership and the help from different parts of the town and government highlight how dedicated the Eastern Cape is to making sure kids with special needs get the education and support they need.

In Mayor Davids' words, "This teamwork can be a model for other places looking to make their schools more inclusive. Together, we can make sure every child has a chance to do well, no matter what challenges they face."