Picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

JOHANNESBURG - The City of Joburg has launched the Jozi iSchool Africa lab inclusive education programme that supports children with autism, in partnership with Autism SA and iSchoolAfrica

Member of the mayoral committee (MMC) for health and social development, Mpho Phalatse said the lab was launched last Friday.

Speaking at the launch event at Nokuthula Special School in Lyndhurst, Phalatse, said the partnership intended for the most vulnerable in our education sector would add value and enhance the tools for teaching children who are autistic.

She said the Jozi lab would help children with autism to connect with the world through technology. 

"The city has taken a serious stance on early childhood development programmes as one of its Diphetogo projects, to ensure that children’s human rights of access to quality and inclusive education is realised,” said Phalatse.

"We are therefore delighted for being the active participants of this great initiative."

The department said the partnership with iSchool Africa aimed to empower teachers with educational technology and classroom practices that assist learners with autism to overcome their learning difficulties.

“This lab aims to provide children with autism with the ability to connect with the world via the power of communication through technology that will enhance their self-worth and address their educational needs.” 

iSchool Africa managing director Michelle Lissoos said its partnership with the city of Johannesburg was important for the education of children with intellectual disabilities. including autism. She said it was important to support programmes that would build an inclusive society and empower the children.

 “We have seen huge successes with use of iPads among children with autism. With the iPad, children with autism have even greater opportunities to improve their communication, motor and cognitive skills,” Lissoos said.

The partnership has benefitted 20 pupils with autism and a total of 20 iPads were handed over to the School.

African News Agency (ANA)