The Free State Department of Education hosted an event where equipment and specialised assistive devices for visually impaired learners worth R500 000 were handed over to Thiboloha Special School in the Free State.
Standard Bank donated the required R500 000 as it believes that all South Africans deserve a quality education and as such invests in improved educational outcomes and skills development in multiple ways. The special school caters for visual and hearing impaired learners from grade R to grade 12.
According to the HOD of Education for the Free State, Advocate Tsoarelo Malakoane, every young South African should have access to quality education and someone’s disability should not impede this. “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 to all of us.”
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 for all phases of learners and includes:
• Data projectors for all classes;
• Two visualisers for each phase of learners;
• Four Brailliant BI14 braille displays;
• Voice recorders for all teachers.
People with disabilities face 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 learning for the learners and ensure they can continue access 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,” adding 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, affordable education for all and enhancing 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 work,” Mrs Nkeane concluded.