Special Needs Education in South Africa: Japari School

Here is a question I occasionally get from prospective expats mulling over a move to South Africa:

Can South Africa cater to the special educational needs of my kids?

If you have children with special needs and have come to Joburg Expat for answers, this post will hopefully help you with your research. It is not a comprehensive overview of special needs education in South Africa, but rather a closer look at one school serving special needs kids in Johannesburg. We encourage you to visit the Japari website for more information. It is also a good resource for parents special needs children. Its blog covers a wide range of topics from speech development to remedial education, ADHD, and more. And the most compelling page, for me, was the one featuring all the heartfelt testimonials from parents for whom Japari has been a godsend.

The following article was written by Riaan du Plessis of Japari School. Opinions expressed are entirely those of Japari, and no compensation was given to Joburg Expat in exchange for its publication. We simply want to supply relevant information to expats and others immigrating to South Africa to make their transition easier. If you have any experience with special needs education in South Africa, we welcome your comments below!

Can South Africa Cater to the Special Educational Needs of My Kids? Good News for Expats and Immigrants

by Riaan du Plessis

South Africa welcomes a number of expats each year. We also see many people immigrating to the country. These families come from overseas as well as from other countries on the continent, looking to enjoy the opportunities afforded in our amazing nation.

Moving countries is never a small undertaking. There are numerous factors to consider, even when just an individual is looking at making the move. When it is a family with children, the requirements and challenges multiply.

Even for a South African moving back to South Africa from overseas, there is a massive upheaval. Children will especially feel the impact of the disruption. The younger the child, the easier they adapt to the change.

It is already hard enough for the child to relocate, but the difficulty may be extreme in the case where he or she needs specialised attention. What educational facilities are available for children who fall outside of the mainstream, in terms of their unique educational needs?

For the gifted child, http://giftedchildrensa.co.za offers good support. It features recommendations for which schools to consider, and other resources. They also have an active Facebook page, which can be very helpful.

When it comes to special needs children, the transition can be even more daunting for the family. These parents will need no reminding of the particular challenges their kids are facing. Can they find the support they need in Johannesburg for their child’s slow learning or dyslexia?

The good news is that Japari, a school based in Rosebank, Johannesburg, is specially equipped to assist children with special learning needs. Rosebank is centrally-located and easily accessible on our excellent road network.

The staff of Japari appreciates that a move like this is a tremendous undertaking. Whether you are a returning expat or are making your first move to South Africa, Japari knows how big a change this will be for your family. The teachers and professionals at Japari will do everything they can to make the transition for your child as smooth as possible. They will provide the extra attention required to help get children settled in and up and running as soon as possible.

Reading assistance at Japari School in Johannesburg
Reading assistance at Japari School
Market Day at Japari School in Johannesburg
Market Day at Japari School

Japari is a primary school, serving children from grade R to grade 7 (ages 5 – 14). [Note by editor: Grade R is the equivalent of Kindergarten, also sometimes called “Grade 0” or “Grade Naught” in South African schools. South African high schools start with Grade 8, so Japari covers what in the United States would be considered elementary and middle school.]

Japari addresses a number of specific learning difficulties. The class numbers are kept small, with fewer than 12 pupils for classes in grade R and grade 1. From grades 2 to 7 the classes never exceed 15 students.

Expats and others immigrating will be very pleased to know that Japari is held to the highest standards. Their current Independent Quality Assurance Agency’s certificate is available on their website. Japari is an associate of The Independent Schools Association of Southern Africa (ISASA) and its affiliates SAHISA and SABISA. These all work hard to ensure the highest quality of education for learners.

Japari is a corporate member of The Southern African Association For Learning and Educational Difficulties (SAALED).  SAALED runs up-to-date training sessions to address the specific needs of children who struggle in a mainstream schooling environment.

Japari’s staff is comprised of a team of qualified teachers. The school also has experts in language and speech, occupational therapy, and physiotherapy, as well as trained psychologists on hand. These all work to provide a caring, non-threatening and nurturing environment for the learners to succeed. Students are assessed to identify their specific needs. An individual learning program is designed and followed to meet those needs.

Japari will meet the special learning needs of your children. For expats looking to return to sunny South Africa, this will set your mind at ease. For those looking to migrate for the first time to this beautiful country, you can rest assured that your children’s education will be well taken care of.

Japari School
Parkview, Co-ed, K-7, Special Needs, Founded 1966.

See full listing on Private Schools in Johannesburg.

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