“It is not a stigma to have a child with special needs and it is not something that you should be ashamed of”, said the principal of Ibn Masud School for the Disabled, Rasheeq Paruk, at the relaunch of the school which took place in Overport today (Monday, 10 February), The relaunch introduced teachers and pupils to the improved studying conditions of the disabled children.
The school caters for children living with disabilities like Autism, Down syndrome, Attention deficit disorder (ADD) and Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The school was opened in 2008 by the chairperson Mahomed Joosab when his grandson was diagnosed with Autism. Mahomed says he had first hand experience of what it is like to take care of someone with Autism. “I realised that this school will not only be for myself but also for others with children with disabilities,” he explained. The school currently has 20 pupils and intends on increasing the number to 40.
Yunus Sacoor, CEO of the Al Ansaar Foundation, said, “In the past, the building needed attention. The reason for renovating the building is to ensure that the facilities are in keeping with most modern facilities for disabled children. The various educational projects that are located in the facility benefits the disabled pupils so that they can move up to another level,” said Sacoor.
One of the school’s success stories was when two of its pupils went on to study at a university. Paruk said, “We are known as a school that takes pupils that no other special school wants. Our job is to take those pupils in and remediate them and put them back into society.”
Paruk encouraged parents to take their children to a school for special needs when they notice that they are special needs children. ” This will prevent the children from being demotivated,” said Paruk