A Gugulethu school for disabled children, which started with just two teachers in 1974, today boasts 19 classrooms, three therapy rooms, a sick bay, library, computer room, dining hall, boarding dormitory and other facilities – and proudly offers a mainstream curriculum.
At the Tembaletu School for Learners with Special Education Needs, dedicated staff provide mother-tongue education to pupils from Gugulethu, Langa, Nyanga, Philippi, Delft, Mfuleni and Khayelitsha.
Principal Ayanda Mtshazo says the school was established 45 years ago in response to a desperate need for an education for Xhosa-speaking children living with physical disabilities.
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The official soil turning of the new community centre at Tembalethu school in Gugulethu. It might not look like much now, but over the next 6 months we’re going to see a beautiful community hall established here which will be such a blessing for the people in this community plus the children from the Tembalthu school. #WeLoveGugs #TembalethuSchool #PioneerAgain
Though the Western Cape education department assumed responsibility for the school in 1996, Mtshazo says private funding, fundraising and donations are essential to secure continued support for transport services, and the development of learning and therapy programmes.
Engen shared the love by handing over funds to the school on Valentine’s Day, February 14.
The donation is part of a joint government-private sector initiative to support developmental interventions, including expanded access, for people living with disabilities.
“We all have a role to play in enhancing the lives of all citizens – especially those that are marginalised through disability.”Unathi Magida
Minister in the Presidency for Women, Youth and People with Disabilities, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, attended the handover of funds, which will go towards therapy and sporting resources that will aid the pupils to become inclusive, contributing members of society.
It will help pay for new equipment for neurological and exercise therapy, electronic devices and sports facilities.
Unathi Magida, Engen’s head of transformation and stakeholder engagement, says disability inclusion is one of Engen’s key social investment focus areas.
Khalid Latiff, Engen’s GM for corporate strategy & communications, hopes the contribution will help Tembaletu’s pupils “chart their own destiny by helping upskill them to become self-sufficient, and intellectually and economically independent”.