Northern Cape


Programme Focus Area/Category
Centre Children with Disabilities / ECD








Oasis Skills Development Centre responds to the needs of children, youth and adults with learning and other disabilities.

A dire need for an Early Childhood Development Centre, a Special School and School of Skills for disabled learners of school going age and a Skills Development Centre for learners and youth who have reached school going age, exists in Upington.

The aim of Oasis Centre is to keep the disabled child in the care of his/her parents and not to institutionalize the child far from his/her home. It is also extremely difficult to place a young learner who is mentally challenged in a hostel 400km away from home because they are not able to take care of themselves.

The Centre has experienced times when a moratorium has been placed on hostel facilities for disabled learners residing in the Province at the Special Schools and institutions catering for learners with special needs in Kimberley.

There is an increase in the number of learners at the Centre. There is an increase in number of referrals from mainstream schools and enquiries from parents. Due to lack of accommodation, funds, etc. many disabled learners have to be waitlisted, some for almost 2 years.

Statistics show that the Northern Cape has the highest percentage of social problems, e.g. alcohol abuse, teenage pregnancies, increase in drug abuse, unemployment, etc.

There is no provision for the mentally challenged learners who need high level of support.

Borderline to low intellectual functioning learners are kept in mainstream schools where there is little or no support while others are kept at home. Some never attend any school as parents realize the child’s inability on the one hand and that their needs will not met in any mainstream school.

Learners with special needs are not placed correctly in mainstream schools. High school learners with learning disabilities are merely promoted to the next Grade and are eventually referred to the Centre.

Learners with special needs are being deprived of their basic constitutional rights as contained in the Constitution of South Africa, i.e.

* Children have the right to good quality education
* Children have a right to family care, love and protection from maltreatment, neglect, abuse or degradation
* Children have a right to basic nutrition, shelter, basic health care services and social services

South Africa has co-signed and is therefore committed to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

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