Kachikau Primary School Disability unit currently accommodates about 32 students with disabilities from the villages in Chobe, Botswana. The unit provides schooling, accommodation, and daily meals for the learners.
The school infrastructure was ill-equipped to support learners with special needs as it lacked basic infrastructure such a wheelchair ramps and paved walkways. This made it increasingly difficult for learners using a wheelchair to move around the school premises. The school also did not have adequate dining facilities. As a result, learners would eat their meals on the ground outside the classrooms. This exposed them to harsh weather conditions all year round.
The disability unit currently has a low graduation rate. For learners to graduate from the school, they need to complete the Educational Psychological Assessment that is conducted by the Ministry of Education in Botswana. This department is understaffed which results in a long waiting list of learners who are waiting to take the assessment so they can pass and graduate. There are currently 11 learners from the unit who qualify to take the assessment. Learners not progressing and furthering their education is impacting the disability unit’s turnover rate, as they are not creating space in the unit to take in new learners.
In 2018 we built wheelchair ramps at the school and paved the walkways to allow for easy access and movement for learners at the school and, we built a communal outdoor dining shelter at the school.
We have identified a private institution in Botswana that is certified by the government that can conduct the Educational Psychological Assessment on the learners. By partnering with this institution, we will be fast-tracking the educational assessments for the learners at Kachikau Primary School Disability Unit, allowing them to complete the assessment and graduate from the school.
The facility improvements made to the school aid in creating a more inclusive learning environment for all students. The dining area allows us to reduce health risks and create a space for socializing.
By providing learners with disabilities access to assessments, we are empowering and equipping these learners. Allowing them to graduate and further their education enables continuity of education development which will improve their chances of finding employment opportunities.
An improved graduation and pass rate allows for more learners to be enrolled at the disability unit, which increases access to quality education and learning facilities to other learners with disability in the community.