The SOS Primary School in Blantyre has an excellent reputation in the local area. Providing an education for 320 children from the SOS Children’s Village Blantyre and the local community, the school had a 100% pass rate in recent national examinations. Of the children who passed, 67% went on to complete secondary education, a high percentage for the region and the country as a whole.
The SOS School has now introduced a special class for 13 young children with learning disabilities. Seven of the children have the majority of their lessons in mainstream classes, and come to the special needs class for a couple of sessions a week for extra tuition to ensure that they are able to keep up with their classmates, and to give them any special attention or aids that they may need.
The other six children with higher support needs study full-time in the class under the guidance of a trained special-needs teacher, who helps them according to their individual needs. The teacher works hard to ensure that the children get the best out of their education. The school is currently acquiring teaching materials to meet the specific needs of the children with learning disabilities.
The school is also adapting to become more accessible for children who are physically disabled, including those in wheelchairs. Pavements suitable for wheelchairs are being constructed and steps are being replaced with ramps.
Hastings Kumemba, head teacher at the school, is keen for the school to provide an education to even more children with disabilities. “Will the school increase the intake of learners with learning difficulties?” he says “My answer is obvious - yes! The school is planning big things for all learners and especially for learners with learning difficulties. We certainly want to be known as an advantage for the disadvantaged!"