at school despite hearing loss
615 children are currently being taught at the Eduplex School in the South African city of Pretoria. 113 of them suffer from hearing loss – but that poses no problem at all here! The use of hearing aids, cochlear implants and FM systems ensures that lessons run smoothly and children with hearing loss can learn alongside classmates with no hearing impairment.
Place & Year
For every five pupils with normal hearing ability in a class of 25, there is one child with hearing loss. Lessons at the Eduplex School therefore place a very strong emphasis on good language skills, with the help of state-of-the-art technology. “It’s not just about listening,” says the school principal, “Children need to have the opportunity to express their own ideas – in an environment where others will listen to them attentively.” Yet 62 of the 113 pupils with hearing loss cannot afford this excellent schooling which enables them to achieve mainstream high school qualifications in spite of their hearing impairment. They come from poor families and rely on scholarships. The Hear the World Foundation provides support to ensure that the concept of inclusion can continue to be put into practice with this unique school model.
Intensive therapy alongside teaching
All pupils with hearing loss are offered professional support alongside their regular lessons. Five speech therapists and audiologists are employed on a permanent basis to give the children the best possible assistance, while hearing aid check-ups, intensive speech training and regular examinations at the neighboring ear-nose-throat clinic guarantee that they receive excellent care. On top of this, the teachers are very keen to create a relaxed and caring atmosphere outside the curriculum too. The children’s emotional and social development is taken just as seriously as their academic learning, and sport and play are very much encouraged. After all, as US psychologist B.F. Skinner put it, “education is what survives when what has been learned has been forgotten.”