Inclusive education becomes reality

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By Frederick Philander WINDHOEK – History was yesterday morning made under the government’s policy of inclusive education, with the intake of the first full-time physically impaired learners into an ordinary secondary school in the capital. The principal, staff and learners of HoÃÆ’Æ‘Æ‘ÃÆ”šÃ‚«r Tegniese Skool yesterday morning emotionally and fittingly welcomed five of the seven formally enrolled full-time Grade 11 blind learners from the National Institute of Special Education to the school in Academia. “The Ministry of Education is grateful to the school, known for its strict discipline, for having accepted the concept of inclusive education and the registration of the first blind learners. HTS was considered the best suitable for the programme from among 25 other schools in the Khomas Region. “The ministry will at all times support the ongoing programme to ensure its successful implementation,” said the deputy regional director of education, Natalia Goagoses, at the occasion. Among the newly admitted Grade 11 blind learners are two girl learners and five boys, among them an identical twin. “We feel privileged to receive and welcome the blind learners at our school as part of our mission to improve learner behaviour and to equip them with knowledge and skills. We have a great and challenging task ahead of us to properly teach our blind and visually impaired learners,” said principal Retha Lansberg on behalf of her school. Lansberg and eight of her full-time teachers have been attending special classes to be able to teach the blind learners in Braille. HTS has been involved since last year in visually impaired teaching with one of its learners now in Grade 12. “Full-time Grade 12 learner Alfred Visser was involved in a serious accident that left him blinded two years ago. He is still with us and doing academically well,” the principal told New Era after the formal ceremony. The blind youngster moves around the school with the aid and assistance of a trusted guide dog, Bella.