TETA Adopt-A-School COVID-19 Drive Lands at Vuleka School for the Deaf
7 Aug 2020
As part of its drive to assist 57 adopted schools across the country, Transport Education Training Authority (TETA) delivered personal protective equipment to Vuleka School for the Deaf on 5 August 2020.
The Department of Basic Education in KwaZulu Natal (KZN) joined the CEO of TETA Maphefo Anno-Frempong’s visit to Vuleka School for the Deaf to assist deaf learners to protect themselves against COVID-19.
The deaf community is among the group members of our society susceptible to difficulties in accessing information about coronavirus. While the government and other organisations made efforts to include deaf-to-deaf communication in disseminating information about the pandemic, more still needs to be done in ensuring that personal protective equipment address the needs of the deaf. The no-brainer example would be that typical masks covers the mouth, prohibiting lip reading which is critical for the deaf to gather information.
“When coronavirus started spreading in South Africa, everyone was thinking about masks but we forgot sign language. So we got them masks that enables visual communication”, said Anno-Frempong.
Amina Ahmed of the special needs education unit of the Department of Basic Education in the King Cetshwayo District said:
“Within special schools the biggest challenge across the province is the lack of support staff. Special schools are supposed to have a teacher aid in the classroom. The second challenge is the lack of specialist staff such as audiologists for a school such as Vuleka or professional nurses especially in the wake of COVID-19. So we are trying to put a lot of pressure on the provincial department to put those people in place as soon as possible.”
The Principal of Vuleka School for the Deaf, Nonhlanhla Mzoneli, appreciated TETA support and highlighted some of the challenges faced by deaf learners:
“In tertiary institutions they [learners] have difficulty because they don’t have interpreters. That’s why sometimes most of them don’t even bother to apply for bursaries because they are going to face a lot of challenges . . .”
TETA’s adopt-a-school programme targets underdeveloped schools in deep rural areas with teacher capacitation, learning resources, bursaries, career guidance and STEM subjects extra classes. To assist Vuleka in COVID-19 preparedness, TETA delivered PPE including sanitisers, thermometers and tablets to enable e-learning.
The Transport Education Training Authority (TETA) is one of the 21 SETAs mandated to facilitate skills development and training in different economic sectors of South Africa. TETA’s areas of operation cut across rail, aerospace, maritime, road freight, road passenger, taxi, freight handling, and forwarding and clearing subsectors. The authority is committed to ensuring that through the implementation of the National Skills Development Strategy (NSDS) a pool of individuals highly skilled, competitive and competent to function effectively within the transport sector is built.
Issued By: TETA