Retina South Africa Chairperson Manny Moodley Applauds Exceptional 2023 Matric Results of Blind and Visually Impaired Scholars
Attorney Manny Moodley, the Chairperson of Retina South Africa, and its National Management Committee, wishes to congratulate the South African specialist Schools for the Blind as well as all Blind and Visually Impaired scholars attending schools for Learners with Special Education Needs (LSEN schools) on their excellent results attained in the 2023 Matric Examinations.
Mr Samkelo Gumada, from the Athlone School for the Blind in Cape Town, was selected as one of the country’s top 34 Matric performers, making him the top Matric student with a disability in South Africa. Prinshof School for the Blind in Pretoria managed to achieve a hundred percent pass rate, with the vast majority of students achieving a Bachelor’s Pass. Similar notable achievements were also reported by other specialist and LSEN schools with visually impaired learners in other Provinces. Visually impaired students also achieved good results in mainstream schools with Miss Janine Futselaar, a Retina Member, achieving 7 distinctions in the IEB Matric results.
Mr. Moodley further stated that Retina SA wished to acknowledge the prominent role played by the SANCB’s (South African National Council for the Blind’s, of which Retina SA is also a member) Education Division in contributing towards the overall success of visually impaired learners. Noting that the Council holds an annual Principals Forum over a 3-day period at its Optima College Campus in Pretoria where school principals involved with teaching visually impaired learners, meet to present, discuss, workshop, and formulate resolutions which are addressed by the SANCB Education Committee during the year. These Forums are invaluable towards assessing shortfalls and establishing training modules, best practice methodologies, guidelines and policies for visually impaired scholars at LSEN schools. Including addressing issues surrounding the Department of Basic Education’s introduction of Second Chance Matric for Learners with Disabilities, and the SANCB’s support structures, together with one of its 111 Member Organisations, Tape Aids for the Blind, in providing resources and mentorship for students registered for Second Chance via the SANCB Provincial Education Sub-Committees (PESCs) in all nine provinces.
Principals also attribute their matric successes to the support and assistance given to learners attending SANCB’s Annual Winter School, held over a period of one week at its Optima College Campus in Pretoria. Where specialist educators provide learning support materials and breakaway workshops focusing on different curriculum subjects for both visually impaired learners and their accompanying educators to encourage a train the trainer mindset.
SANCB’s Annual Braille Cup also encourages LSEN Schools to maintain a high level of braille literacy throughout the year.
Mr. Moodley further stated that Retina South Africa hoped that these outstanding matric successes of visually impaired learners together with the unwavering support of the SANCB, continued to grow from strength to strength.