ADHD Africa is on its way

“The emphasis is on art, we want to use colour, music, dance and drama to teach our kids,”

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The Bulletin
New School for learners with ADHD

While Govan Mbeki is sparsely dotted with schools for students with special needs, the emergence of one that places emphasis on the creative needs of these learners is almost unheard of. Picture this: a classroom with bouncy balls for chairs, desks with pedals that mimic bicycles, a singing teacher in front of the board, and perhaps a sustainable vegetable garden on the playground. These are some of the innovations that make up the vision for what may one day be called ADHD Africa.
The school is the progressive idea of Henning Botha, henceforth the founder. During a quick tour of the premises, Mr Botha showed the Bulletin the ins and outs of the future school. It was clear in the way that he spoke that this was a passion project, and his face lit up with every detail of it. The school will cater for students with special needs and in particular, those with ADHD and dyslexia. “We’re hoping to have small, intimate classes, which are better for learning and giving each student the individual attention they deserve,” Mr Botha explained.
Understanding that students with ADHD tend to be hyperactive, Mr Botha seeks to create a learning environment that puts that hyperactivity to use instead of suppressing it. “I want to use the arts as a learning tool,” he said. Having obtained a BA degree in drama, artistic activity is second nature to Mr Botha. “We’ll also be implementing technology in the classroom, as we believe that this can add so much value to the experience of learning.”
Mr Botha seeks to open the school in the coming year. What’s encouraging about his work is his knowledge and experience. He has taken the time to research and understand the differences between students with ADHD and dyslexia and those without. As such, the school doesn’t seek to impose traditional teaching and learning techniques on learners with special needs. “The emphasis is on art, we want to use colour, music, dance and drama to teach our kids,” Mr Botha said.
The initiative is heart-warming, to say the least. A conversation with Mr Botha is one that is filled with animation and a visible love for catering to the needs of special students. Although the building is still in progress, it is not doubtful that ADHD Africa could be a screaming success. With mainstream education oblivious of the very specific requirements of those with ADHD or dyslexia, it is refreshing to hear of an institution geared towards the inclusion of the marginalised. We look forward to the school’s opening!

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