Tembaletu School for Learners with Special Education Needs situated in Gugulethu has dedicated staff who focus on mother-tongue based education to pupils from Gugulethu, Langa, Nyanga, Philippi, Delft, Mfuleni and Khayelitsha. Today, the school has 19 classrooms, three therapy rooms, a sickbay, library, computer room, dining hall, boarding dormitory and other facilities – and proudly offers a mainstream curriculum.
Principal Ayanda Mtshazo said the school was established 45 years ago in response to a desperate need for education for Xhosa-speaking children living with physical disabilities. The Western Cape education department assumed responsibility for the school in 1996. According to Mtshazo, “Private funding, fundraising and donations are essential to secure continued support for transport services, and the development of learning and therapy programmes” he noted.
Engen shared some love on Valentine’s Day this year by handing over funds to the school. 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 marginalized through disability,” said Unathi Magida, Head of Transformation and Stakeholder Engagement at Engen.
She added that disability inclusion is one of Engen’s key social investment focus areas.
Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Minister in the Presidency for Women, Youth and People with Disabilities 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.
The funds will help pay for new equipment for neurological and exercise therapy, electronic devices and sports facilities. Khalid Latiff, GM for corporate strategy & communications at Engen 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”.