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March 2, 2004

First deaf students join Maun SSS

From: Mmegi - Gaberones,Botswana - Mar 2, 2004

Staff Writer

HISTORY will be made next week when three deaf students join senior secondary school in Botswana. The trio will be the first deaf students ever to go past Form Three in Botswana's education system. Maun Senior Secondary School (SSS) will have the honour of admitting the students.

Speaking to Mmegi in an interview yesterday, Director of Secondary Education, Reuben Motswakae revealed that the students - two boys and a girl - are from Dithejwane Community Junior Secondary School (CJSS) in Molepolole, Shoshong CJSS in Shoshong and Ramotswa CJSS. Unlike Dithejwane and Shoshong, Ramotswa CJSS deaf students have their own classes. Motswakae said special education teachers will be posted to Maun to take care of the needs of the three deaf students. "We will transfer some of them to the school," he said.

Maun SSS, Motswakae said was selected after a thorough exercise in which the Special Education Committee in his department went out to assess and identify the most conducive place and school where the students could be integrated. "However, schools such as Mater-Spei, were also found to be conducive and we hope to send some students there in future," he explained.

Motswakae said the admission of the three students, three weeks after the Form Four lessons took off is the final for this year. The students he said performed comparatively well as per the special education policy. The policy sets lower cut-off points for students with special needs. So far visually impaired students have benefited from the policy.

"We have been employing it (the policy) to cater for other students with special needs including the visually impaired students, often admitted at Molefhi Senior Secondary School in Mochudi," Motswakae explained.

© Mmegi, 2002