Winnie Madikizela Mandela School

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Winnie Madikizela Mandela School was established in 1975 under the patronage of the Wits Mental Health, founded by Mrs. Tshoke. Housemothers were in charge of the learners; and focused its activities on providing services as a Day Care Centre. The then Department of Education, took over the school in 1983, transforming it into a fully fledged school.  The Department employed qualified teachers who were also offered further training (DSE) to enable them to manage learners with intellectual disabilities.  


The centre started relatively on a small scale with 7 teachers, one principal, one Head of Department, three house mothers, one administration clerk, one drive and one night watchman and 70 learners. Each teacher was allocated 10 learners; a health professional was also employed in intensifying our care. Presently the centre has grown to 400 learners and 17 teachers, 1 principal, 2 deputies, 6 HOD's, 10 PS staff (with 12 SGB supported PS posts) and 1 therapist. The school does not have the services of a nurse but desperately needs it.


Winnie Madikizela Mandela School is a special school catering for children with mental disabilities. In effort to care for the challenged learners, Winnie Madikizela Mandela School has at all times prided itself in the manner in which it deals with the learners, parents and other stakeholders, treating each and everyone with the dignity and respect that they deserve. Winnie Madikizela Mandela School adheres to the human rights approach in its dealing with the all.


In recognition that all the learners are different, so it the nature and extent of their disabilities. There are those who are trainable and those who are severely mentally handicapped, and therefore not trainable. Those who are trainable undertake several activities to build their capacity; these include brick-making, bakery, woodwork, home economics, hair salon, pottery, computer skills, and arts and craft. The severe ones are catered in basic academics and artwork. We are also offering some skills development in gardening and appreciation of the environment.