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Some parents and caretakers of students in special education have been criticised for not taking full responsibility of their children’s education but instead put all that upon stimulation centres.
This was said by the Deputy Manager at Tshidilong Stimulation Center, Imi Kolobe at the graduation ceremony of their students in special education. The center provides day care and stimulation for the most affected, retarded and severely disabled children aged between 6 to 12 years living in Maun and surrounding area. Some of the students this week graduated to the next level of education from the center.
Kolobe noted that most of the parents of children with disabilities seem to forget that the kids also have rights. Kolobe revealed that one of the biggest challenge they face as a center is that parents put all the responsibility and reliance on the center while they lay back without putting in the effort as well.
She cautioned that this affects the children because when they go for primary level they tend to drop out of school because there is nobody to push them to go to school unlike how it is done at Tshidilong Stimulation where students are picked and dropped off at home each and every day.
For his part, a Special Education Teacher, Kholisani Simon also concurred that parents should ensure that their students do not end at preschool or even primary school but instead advance to other academic levels.
Simon pointed out that sometimes parents do not believe in their disabled children which makes it hard for them to also believe in themselves. He advised that it is upon a parent to ensure that a child reaches a milestone. “Let us ensure our students go through all the education stages in order for them to succeed,” he said.
Meanwhile one of the parents Olebogile Batlhalefi has appreciated what the center has done in educating and helping with the development skills of her child who was diagnosed with down syndrome.
However, Batlhalefi mentioned that one of the major reasons why she fears taking her schooling to the next level being the Moremi Primary School that offers special needs education is that the school is not properly maintained.
Batlhalefi complained that the school does not have proper fencing yet it is closer to the river and the main road therefore expressed worry that children with down syndrome tend to wonder around and they might end up be exposed to danger.