SPECIAL NEEDS CENTRE FOR SPECIAL LEARNERS

BY: SEBABATSO LESAANE

A special needs teacher and founder of Mamello Special Needs Centre Kefuoe Nkuatsana has launched the school to assist kids with special needs at Naleli.

She saw a gap between ‘normal learners ‘and those with special needs while she was working in one of the primary schools as a teacher, “ this gap inspired me to want to address and respond to special needs in a special way,” she said. This is where the Mamello dream was born, and it has grown marvelously since last year June. Kefuoe went on to state that one thing which she learned is to be patient at all times because that is what special learners and all learners need in a teacher hence the name Mamello.

“As a center, soon to be operating as a full time school, we deal with several learning difficulties such as ADHD, Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, Slow Learning and Autism just to name a few,” she disclosed.

Nkuatsana holds a Bachelor Degree in Special Education from the National University of Lesotho (NUL). Her passion for learners with special needs showed way back from when she went for teaching practice at St. Catherine’s High School, “I made sure I went there because they include visually impaired learners, so I wanted to have a practical experience on working with learners with special needs which of course made me want to know a lot more about other special needs,” she added.

They say learners are special because they cannot learn how teachers teach so it is better if they teach them how to learn. “It is not the amount of content that we have to give out but the amount of content they can grasp, this is why we go with their pace neither our pace nor their parents’,” she mentioned.

Nkuatsana points out that the biggest challenge they face is when the learners’ parents want to see their children’s progress overnight or in a short space of time, “these learners are special, they require special skills to work with them,” she declared. The other challenge is that of parents not being honest about the child’s problem and sometimes not accepting when they are told the child has a problem.

Regardless of the problems they come across, they also have success stories, “let us be aware that we come across learners with IQ which means they cannot learn, so with them, we strive for social achievement more than the academic one and seeing such kids progress gives us joy. The other achievement is the positive response that we get from people outside, learners themselves and parents who are very supportive to us,” she outlined.

“I believe that every child is gifted, they only need time, patience and love to unleash the talent – the talent can be either outside or inside the classroom setting,” Kefuoe sealed.

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