July 1, 2019, Herald Live: Help on the way for autistic kids in Eastern Cape https://www.heraldlive.co.za/news/politics/2019-07-01-help-on-the-way-for-autistic-kids-in-eastern-cape/ The Eastern Cape department of education will build three special needs schools in the next financial year. The schools, which will accommodate mostly pupils with autism and have hostel facilities, will be in Nelson Mandela Bay, East London and Mthatha. This was announced by premier Oscar Mabuyane in his state of the province address on Friday in Bhisho. The establishment of the schools is expected to bring much-needed relief to parents who cannot afford to place their children in existing special needs schools. The move will also see more pupils with special needs access education and care tailored to their needs. The Herald reported in March 2017 that more than 3,000 children in the Eastern Cape were waiting for spaces at the few available schools. “We want to establish schools for children with special needs such as autism,” Mabuyane said. “It’s a very serious issue; it’s really getting hard in the communities out there.”… “Government must address the issue of special needs. “We must nurture them while they are young,” Mabuyane said. “We want to have special schools in Port Elizabeth, East London and Mthatha so that all children are in school no matter what their condition is.” Nelson Mandela Bay has 13 special needs schools where waiting lists can reach hundreds at a time. … He said they were mostly concerned with the Mthatha area, which does not have any schools catering for autistic children. “That is where the nightmare is – the far east of the province does not have any, so we have to build a new one there….
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