Talented Delft pupil struggles school work, but good with his hands
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Cape Town - Anathi Koli may not be interested in his school books, but the talented Grade 6 pupil is good with his hands and can assemble a motor without help.
The 12-year-old’s mom, Nonzukiso Koli, said her son showed little interest in books.
“He is not focused in school, he does not like writing and reading,” she said.
Koli said her son’s Grade 3 teacher noticed that Anathi was talented and notified her. The teacher had planned to put him in a programme where she would assess him and make recommendations to the Department of Education. “Unfortunately, the teacher passed away before all this could be done,” she said.
Anathi continued with school, but it became harder for him and his mother said his writing was not like that of other children his age.
“The school only told me that my child was struggling but did not say what I can do to assist him. He continued fixing appliances at home and built structures. He enjoys doing that and always collects broken appliances to build something.”
She worries about the future her child will have without formal education. She also worried about what the community will say.
“I am stuck, I have never experienced this before. My first-born is in university and the other is doing well in school.”
Recently, Anathi built a hut and put lights inside it that worked with a switch. He did all this with the broken material he collected and with no adult assistance.
The mother of three believes the school should be telling her what she can do or where she can get assistance.
“I do not know if my child is suffering from something or needs to attend a special-needs school. He is like any other child but the challenge is school and I need assistance so I can make an informed decision about the future of my child.”
Western Cape Education Department (WCED) spokesperson Bronagh Hammond said they were aware of Anathi’s case.
“The learner has been brought to our attention. He sounds like he has a wonderful talent. I have liaised with our Special Needs Directorate and he could possibly be a suitable candidate for a School of Skills. However, he is too young at this stage. Our district has been notified and they will see if an assessment has been made for a referral.”
Koli was pleased with the department’s response and said she was looking forward to the assessment.