Assessments are carried out to gain some understanding of the learner with Special Educational Needs (SEN) in order to determine the learner’s level of functioning and provide individualized intervention. The emphasis on providing a holistic comprehensive assessment in order to identify the child’s strengths and weaknesses in several functional areas such as cognitive, academic, language, motor and social functioning. Assessment is also meant to identify the concerns of the family and the support and services necessary to enhance the family’s capacity to meet the developmental needs of their child. This involves the use of standardized and non standardized tests and is also achieved through the use of a multi- disciplinary approach. These assessements cover different aspects of a child's life including educational, occupational, and social spheres.
A comprehensive multidisciplinary assessment is conducted to:
- diagnose the underlying dysfunctions and abilities
- recommend effective strategies and interventions including appropriate school placement
Learners with differing impairments, disabilities or suspected of having some form of special needs qualify for assessment by the Division of Special Education. Some of these impairments may include Vision, Physical Disability, Learning Disabilities, Communication Disorders, Intellectual Disability (Mental Retardation), Behavioural and Emotional Disorders and so forth. Learners that are gifted and talented may also be referred for assessment to assist in developing appropriate intervention strategies to enrich their education. Learners with hearing impairments are assessed through outsourcing the services of audiologists from the Ministry of Health through the Rehabilitation Services Division and the Bamalete Lutheran Hospital. Also learners with vision impairments are seen by eye doctors for medical assessment to determine the eye condition, visual acuity and field vision before referring for functional assessment at CRC.
Usually, assessments of learners with Special Educational Needs (SEN) are carried out by different appropriate qualified professionals based at the Central Resource Center in Tlokweng. There are Educational Psychologists who have been decentralized in the northern (based in Francistown, Ntshe House) and southern regions (based in Kanye Education Center) who also conduct assessments in their respective regions and other regions as need dictates.
Referrals are done through an appointment with the Central Resource Centre (CRC) located at Tlokweng. For those with hearing impairments, appointments can be made with Rehabilitation Services Division (RSD in Gaborone) and Bamalete Lutheran Hospital in Ramotswa. After assessment, learners are placed in schools, other educational institutions and Non Governmental Institutions according to their educational needs. There are institutions that cater for learners with intellectual disabilities found in our regular schools. Learners with vision and hearing impairments are placed in special schools, units and resource classes found in regular/ mainstream schools. The placement of learners in schools is dependant on the severity and onset of disability and availability of resources. It is essential that learners with SEN are assessed as early as possible to ensure that appropriate interventions are provided.