Statistics vary considerably on the number of people in South Africa living with disabilities, but the estimation is somewhere right up there round the 3 million mark. Of those 3 000 000 people, anywhere between 500 000 - 900 000 will go unschooled.
500 000 - 900 000!
As in somewhere between half-a-million to almost ONE!MILLION! children will be robbed of their right to an education simply because the inclusion infrastructure in this country is as flawed as our ability to collect efficient stats. Urrrrgghhh!
"Ineducable"! (One of the words used to describe Samuel's prognosis when he was born)
"Considered incapable of being educated..."
Many of you have heard the following a million times over so feel free to skip to the next paragraph - this word ineducable...capable of stripping one of every ounce of hope you might manage to salvage for the future. A word that instantly became my personal demon, to the point that I became near-obsessed with doing everything in my power to expel it from our vocabulary. Numbers up to 20, all letters, colours, shapes mastered by the age of 3...applying counting skills, a signing vocab of near 200 words...capable of reading just as many words...all by the age of 5 and despite having three separate conditions affecting his brain.
Yet, at just six years of age my son has been rendered ineducable...not because he does not possess the potential to learn, but because there are no facilities available to guide him towards that potential. Schools for physically/neurally disabled kids? Yes! Schools for children with Autism? Yes! Special Needs Schools for children who are equally challenged by both? As scarce as hen's teeth! Mainstream schools which would consider accepting a child whose brain functions brilliantly but has not yet found the right "sync" with the rest of his body? You've got to be kidding!!!
It is beyond sad. This kid, reading through his dictionary....
...this kid deserves to have his potential recognised and catered for, especially by a country shrieking daily about the horrendous crimes of discrimination.
Vent over xxx