It was a joyous moment at Ngoako Ramatlhodi
Indoor Sport Complex on Friday during the graduation ceremony of 27 intellectually impaired learners enrolled at Grace and Hope Special School.
Acting Principal Nthabiseng Mafa indicated that the graduates were exiting the special school system at the age of 21 as they are equipped with skills in welding, woodwork, consumer studies, fashion designing, creative arts and agricultural studies. She said the group was well skilled and employable and reiterated that they were genius at their own level. Mafa was proud to announce that some of the graduates will be employed by the Department of Labour to sew uniforms for different institutions such as hospitals next year.
“We are delighted that government departments consider our learners when hiring. Intellectually impaired people are trainable hence they are fit to work at any institution. We encourage communities to give the graduates support rather than look down on them. They have completed their training and they now seek employment,” Mafa remarked.
Assistant Director for Institutional Governance at Department of Education Stephen Tebela was also part of the occasion. He said he wanted to witness the exciting moment and applauded the educators for a wonderful job in developing persons with intellectual impairment. He added that the department would look into possible ways of getting the graduates jobs. Tebela concluded by saying the department would continue to influence other state entities and private companies to hire the graduates.
School Governing Body (SGB) Chairperson Makgotse Chuene encouraged parents and guardians to support their children because they are capable and able in their own right. She further explained that the graduates can work at community projects hence they deserve a chance.
Story and photos: ENDY SENYATSI