By Bongani Tshabalala
QWAQWA-A good Samaritan in the name of Standard Bank has come to the rescue of virtually impaired learners from Thiboloha in Maluti-a-Phofung local municipality, by donating R500 000,00 to enable them to have access to quality education.
Thiboloha is a special school based in Qwaqwa in the Eastern Free State, catering for visually impaired learners and learners with hearing disability from grade R and grade 12.
In its gesture Standard Bank has enabled the learners who are living with disability to realise their full potential and acquire skills .
Appreciating the gesture, the Head of Department of Education (HOD) , Advocate Tsoarelo Malakoane said this will enable Free State to reach its goal of ensuring every young South African will have access to quality education including those living with disability . “That is why we are proud to support initiatives that help to improve education for special schools to make education more inclusive.”
Malakoane added that, as with all other members of society, people with disabilities must acquire the knowledge and skills required for the community in which they live. “We are grateful for a meaningful partner like Standard Bank, who understands that education is a societal matter and that as the education sector, we are producing future clients or employees; so to partner with us is as beneficial to them as it is to all of us.”
HOD of Education for the Free State, Advocate Tsoarelo Malakoane, addressing guests, said the ICT equipment was handed over at the Thiboloha Special School by Standard Bank Free State’s Public Sector Department.
The equipment will cover education of all phases for learners and it includes:- Data Projectors for all classes; Two Visualisers for each phase of learners; Four Brailliant BI14 braille displays and Voice Recorders for all teachers.
People with disabilities require special educational needs. These are caused by functional limitations which impact their ability as learners to access standard educational methods of instruction. The equipment will enhance their learning skills and ensure continuity to access of quality education, further supporting teachers using teaching aids.
This school has excelled academically since 2011, achieving a 100 per cent pass rate every year, and this donation will further strengthen the quality of their performance. This year the school achieved a 100% matric pass rate with 75% bachelor passes.
The Head of Sectors and Products, Standard Bank Free State and Northern Cape, Nolwazi Nkeane, explained that the Thiboloha Special School should be commended for their hard work. “We hope that the donation we have made to them will help them to continue shining academically in the future.” He added that the bank prioritises education in its corporate social investment (CSI) programmes.
Up to 2019, Standard Bank South Africa’s CSI efforts focused on improving access to quality and affordable education for all, and enhanced educational outcomes. “We work with partners in government and the corporate sector to address the challenge of affordable and accessible student finance. In 2019, we developed a refreshed CSI strategy, which focuses specifically on Early Childhood Development and Foundation Phase education.
“The aim is to contribute to social and economic transformation in South Africa, through supporting the development of future-fit children who are ready for a new world of employment,” Mrs Nkeane concluded.