MBABANE: Sipho Dlamini, the President of the Federation of Organisations of the Disabled in Eswatini (FODSWA ) said disabled pupils are losing out on the ongoing media lessons since these lessons were only tailored for able bodied pupils.
Speaking during an interview with this Swaziland News, the FODSWA President said most of the disabled children were poor and did not have access to TV sets, radio and newspapers.
“Most of these disabled children are from poor families, the deaf who live in remote areas do not have access to TV and newspapers. The blind who have access to radio also need to supplement these lessons with braille material which can only be provided at their schools but they can’t access these materials since their schools are closed. This is creating an unfair competition, these students will never perform better than the able bodied. Since the first lockdown, we have always pleaded with government to consult with us on how best these media lessons could be rolled out so that the disabled could also benefit, but our plea fell on deaf ears,” he said.
When reached for comments, Sikelela Dlamini the Secretary General of the Swaziland National Association of Teachers (SNAT) said they had advised the Ministry of Education to compile an evaluation report on last year’s media lessons.
“At one of our meetings with the Ministry of Education, we had agreed that there would be an evaluation report on the media lessons that were done last year but unfortunately there is none. It’s worrying that the Minister proceeded to announce the commencement of new radio lessons without the report of the previous lessons. The report would have enabled us to identify their strengths and weaknesses, now we would be focusing on strengthening the weakest points.The concerns raised by FODSWA are valid, we will raise such issues in our meeting with the Ministry on Friday”, said the SNAT Secretary General.
Lady Howard Mabuza, the Minister of Education and Training when reached for comments said the media lessons seemed to be bringing more problems than solutions.
“It’s like these media lessons are bringing more problems, we are trying but we cannot reach 100 %”, she said.