Background of school
Mason Lincoln is a special school situated in Umlazi, V section which caters for the physically challenged, visually impaired, autistic, intellectually impaired (mild), epileptic and learners with albinism. Mason Lincoln was founded in 1943 by the late Sister Mason. At the time it was operating under the St Annes Hospital (Emalandeni), now known as Prince Mshiyeni Hospital. Children admitted for longer periods for polio and spinal conditions were taught by Sister Mason, hence the school was named after her. The Department of Health (DoH) at that time was responsible for providing food, security and other health related services. The Department of Education (DoH) only paid staff salaries and provided for educational needs of the school. In 1997 the DoH withdrew all its services and handed over full responsibility to the DoE. At that time the physical structures had deteriorated badly and a large portion of the buildings was evaded by illegal squatters.
Hospital wards were partitioned into classrooms.
Over the years the school extended its classes and to date it starts from Grade R to Grade 12. Mason Lincoln has an Autism Unit, Braille Unit, Remedial Unit and Pre- Vocational. This year, 2014, the enrolment is 287. The ages of learners range from 7 years to 24 years. The school has boarding facilities as other wards were converted to female and male hostels. Due to limited resources the curriculum offered is commerce only.
The school facilities are in a terrible state of disrepair. Paint is peeling from walls, some window glasses are broken, ceiling is collapsing in several classrooms and light fittings hang dangerously by the cables in some classrooms. This situation has been partly addressed. There has been a positive contribution from the community, the local churches, some organisations and businesses. Some of the conditions mentioned above have been addressed. Taking into account the conditions that prevail, the funds allocated to the school by the department of education are not sufficient.
To “Make a Difference” in the ives of learners with disabilities as well as disabled people in the community at large.
- To deliver quality education to our learners with physical disabilities.
- To empower our Learners with skills and promote self-reliance.
- To contribute to sustainable growth and holistic learner development.
- To establish and sustain an efficient and empowered learning institution.
Our Guiding Principal
Respect, integrity, honesty, responsibility, accountability and resourcefulne
Key Positive Factor
- The school is at the entrance of the second largest township in the country i.e. Umlazi.
- It is the only school of this nature in Umlazi.
Short comings and needs of the school
There is a shortage of support staff. There are only three class aides, two house mothers, one house father and three cleaners employed by the DoE. There is no school nurse. To try and address this situation the SGB has employed 20 support staff who take care of the learners during and after school. There are 18 PL 1 Educators, 2 Deputy Principals, 4 HODs and the Principal.
Infrastructure and Food Supply
- There are no staff houses and hostel space is too small.
- There is no kitchen and no dining hall. Cooking is done in a classroom which is used for teaching and as a kitchen and dining hall.
- There is no Government funded feeding scheme programme. Sevel attempts to include the school in the DoE PNSP have not been successful.
- Learners use to do their own cooking in the hostiles, this situation was turned around by the SGB.
- The learners are now fed breakfast, lunch and supper
- There is a need for cutlery, crockery and grocery cupboards in the ‘so called’ dining hall.
- There is no therapy block, laundry room, sick bay and TV room.
- There are no recreational facilities for the learners.
- Classes have grown from grade 1 to grade 12. In 2005 and 2009 we achieved a 100% matric pass rate and in the other years we have tried to maintain a high matric pass rate despite the challenges.
- In 2007, two of our matric learners were among the top 10 in KZN and are doing their final years at UKZN and DUT. In 2009 we achieved a 100% pass rate.
- Artwork- Learners are producing hand craft which can be viewed at the school and at the Bat Centre.
- Music- we have a senior Isichathamiya Group called the Green Berets, which has collaborated with Joe Nina. Also a junior Isicathamiya Group has been formed.
- In 2010 we won “The Achiever of the Year Award” for special schools in the KZN province.
- We are actively involved in the KZN sport for the disabled. Some of our learners have participated and won in the SA and Nedbank Championships and they form part of the SA Team in various sport codes.
- In 2009 we managed to get sponsorship (ACSA) of a computer lab with 18 computers and currently computer lessons are offered to our learners from grade 1 to 9 and the prevocational class.
- We have a fully functional and resourceful library which was a donation (2010) from ILembe Joint Venture.
- A pottery class has been established with the help of Engen (donated class) and ILEMBE JV (donated all pottery equipment and materials). Currently pottery lessons are being offered.
- A Braille Unit for visually impaired and legally blind learners has been established despite the limited resources that the school has. Open Air Special School and KZN Society for the Blind have been very helpful in the establishment of this Unit.
- To build a school ‘suitable’ for the learners’ needs (Hostels and Classrooms should accommodate the learners’ disabilities).
- To acquire “mobile” classrooms so as to extend the Skills Development Section wherein the following skills will be imparted to the learners:
- To acquire at least 2 more mobile classrooms as some grades have been combined due to lack of classrooms.
The projects mentioned above cannot be implemented due to lack of funding and space. We therefore humbly request donations in kind, however monetary donations are most welcome and they can be deposited directly into the school’s account. Details of the Bank Account can be made available on request.