Motshekga’s Covid-19 measures for blind, deaf and pupils with autism

IOL reports that thousands of pupils with special needs will return to school in July, along with Grades R, 1, 2, 3, 6, 10 and 11. This was confirmed by Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga’s directives, which were published in the Government Gazette on Wednesday. In July, pupils with special needs AND pupils with autism who are over the age of 18, will return to school. Motshekga said schools with pupils who had special educational needs had to comply with the Covid-19 guidelines. 

“In relation to learners who are blind, partially sighted or deaf, all schools must comply with the guidelines for schools catering for such learners, as issued by the Department of Basic Education, accessible on the website of the Department of Basic Education. In the case of deaf pupils, she said those tasked with symptom screening had to be able to communicate using South African Sign Language. “Where a learner with disabilities does not return to school for any of the reasons… the Head of Department must make all reasonable efforts to ensure that the learner is provided with appropriate learning and teaching support material, assistive devices and therapeutic support,” she said. Guidelines for autistic pupils said teachers should be sensitive and expect that there could be challenges in getting some pupils to adhere to the wearing of masks.