Ramotswa — The First Lady, Ms Neo Masisi says it is gratifying that Ramotswa School for the Deaf offers vocational education at an early stage of learning.
It was a rare opportunity for learners to harness and display their pre-vocational capabilities at their initial stage of development, she said when handing over a donation of two sewing machines to the school recently.
Such training, she said, resonated well with the country's Vision 2036 pillar on education and skills development, specifically aimed at ensuring that Batswana acquired technical and vocational skills as well as academic training through quality and relevant education.
"This will immensely contribute towards Botswana's transition to a knowledge-based economy, as espoused in our National Vision 2036," she added.
Ms Masisi said the machines were meant to reinforce what the school already had and motivate learners as they develop their skills.
She said the school, offered pre-vocational education and training such as leather works and carpentry combined with design and technology, horticulture, poultry as well as home economics, which entailed sewing, knitting, weaving and beading.
The First Lady said the school was faced challenges such as shortage of teacher aides and implored the Ministry of Basic Education to intervene.
Further, she expressed the hope that the soon to be completed national disability framework, would comprehensively make the coordination of services to people living with disabilities effective.
She said another challenge for the deaf community was that they followed the same curriculum as their mainstream school peers which made "the learners perform below average due to the packed and unmodified syllabus which they never complete in time".
However, Ms Masisi commended the school for having come up with different strategies such as tutoring, scribing and interpreting for learners to remedy the situation, which led to an improvement in the 2019 Primary School Leaving Examination results.
School principal, Ms Margret Chilimba said the school offered pre-primary, primary and vocational education.
She highlighted challenges such as shortage of staff accommodation, lack of playing ground for pupils and dilapidated infrastructure.
The area MP, Mr Lefoko Moagi said the number of people living with different disabilities in the country could not be ignored, hence the need for interventions to cater for all needs.
Source : BOPA