Tshilidzini Special School
The Tshilidzini Special School (TSS) was established 40 years ago for 'blind, deaf, and physically handicapped students'. This primary school currently has 461 students enrolled in grades R-7.
HFL representatives were first introduced to TSS in the summer of 2011.We were impressed by the immaculate grounds and the careful attention to the students' needs looked after by qualified teachers, the ancillary staff, and the TSS administration. If it were not for the existence of TSS, the learners would be left at home, most likely shunned by the community.
However, while visiting, we also noticed that school supplies and teaching essentials were meager. Specialized equipment for these physically challenged children was either outdated or non-existent yet teacher and students alike were focused on learning. As educators ourselves, we were struck by the children's' determination to succeed. As caring individuals, we were affected by the obvious love and commitment expressed by TSS teachers.
TSS is struggling to provide their needy students with housing, meals, clothing, running water, electricity, after school activities as well as an education on the minimal subsidy of R15.00 ($1.94 USD) per day per student provided by the Limpopo Dept. of Education.
The school currently employs 53 qualified educators and 87 nonteaching staff including house monitors, cleaning staff, kitchen staff, gardeners, and one nurse. At the barest minimum it costs R27 ($3.50) per day per child for the least essentials. At this point, the latest educational technology and school supplies are only a dream.
TSS is offering their children a chance for a better life but without updated teaching resources and supplies, these children will continue to struggle.
HFL considers the needs of the Tshilidzini Special School as meriting our attention. TSS has now become a member of the Hope for Limpopo community and with your help we will improve their educational lives.