School for the blind and kids with disabilities
The Johannesburg School for Blind, Low Vision and Multiple Disability Children (short name Beka) started in January 2003. There is no other specialized primary school in the Greater Johannesburg area for blind children or those with low vision , with or without other disabilities, teaching from grade R-7.
We aim for a maximum teacher-pupil ratio of one to six. Our pupils are provided with braille machines and specialized learning aids.
Our teachers and assistants receive on-going training in advanced Braille as well as specific courses for teaching blind and disabled children.
The school follows the National Curriculum, but it tailors the programme to each specific child. This includes life skills to maximize independence. They learn how to cook, use a sink, fridge and a stove, as well as walking to the grocery store to by ingredients and growing vegetables in the sensory garden. Understanding danger is also an integral to practical lessons.
Supervised break time play on the jungle gym and swings encourages mobility. Mobility training to walk with a cane is also provided. Occupational and physiotherapists visit to help improve muscle tone and competence in daily tasks. Music and dance are enjoyed by all, pupils play the guitar, piano, recorder and home made drums. Extramural activities include Tai Chi, French lessons, drama, Yoga, Pottery and Swimming. They also visit the theater at least four times a year.
All key religions are noted in the school calender. Beka has longer terms with five more teaching weeks than most schools to maximize each child's potential.
Beka admits able and disabled day pupils of primary school age, from Grade R to 7 inclusive. It also provides assessments for both younger and older children. Occasionally there are places for weekly boarders.
Beka works with Blind SA, the SA National Council for the Blind and University of Johannesburg Optometry Department.
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