Minister Michael Masutha painting a wall of one of the residential blocks at the school as part of Mandela Day activities.
Motivated by ideals and principles that defined former president Nelson Mandela’s life, and in line with his centenary theme: “BE THE LEGACY: take action, inspire change”, Minister Michael Masutha visited Rivoni School for the Blind in Elim, Limpopo on 27 July 2018, to assess progress in the ongoing work being done by officials and offenders to refurbish the school’s ageing infrastructure.
Masutha acknowledged individuals and organisations that lend a helping hand to ensure that the 120 learners at the school live and are taught in conditions that are decent and conducive for learning. Maintenance work being done by offenders includes painting of walls and ceilings, sealing leaking roofs, replacing broken windows and other general maintenance. “We look forward, as we roll-out this project to over 22 schools for the blind across the country, to draw in and attract more sponsorship in pursuit of ensuring equal access to education for all, including blind learners,” said Masutha.
He sang the praises of the school governing body, educators and learners who consistently produce excellent academic results against the odds. The school introduced Grade 12 classes in 2009 and has consistently achieved 100% pass rate since 2014.
The minister said visually impaired learners of the current generation are at an advantage due to modern technology in the form of user-friendly assistive devices, such as ultracane, refreshable braille displays, ray electronic mobility aid.
School Principal Constance Mabaso thanked the department and other generous donors for their continued goodwill and support which has given hope to learners at the school. She cited a number of organisations that have consistently supported the school, including the South African National Council for the Blind, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, the Department of Basic Education and local businesses.
Rivoni School for the blind was established in June 2006, and is the brainchild of Rivoni Society for the Blind, which was founded in June 1975 at Elim Hospital by the late Swiss doctor, Erwin Sutter, to cater for the needs of learners with visual impairment.
Also in attendance was the Chief Operations Officer Mandla Mkabela, acting Regional Commissioner Phiko Mbambo and Thohoyandou Area Commissioner Takalani Mashamba.
Excited learners showing off their dance moves during a Mandela Day event at Rivoni School for the Blind on 27 July 2018.