This is the story about a young lady by the name of Anica Fourie, aged 21 years old. Anica was diagnosed with severe hereditary dyslexia.
Anica was unable to pass her matric year twice, due to her dyslexia condition. She was also told that if she failed to pass her final exams again in 2015, she would not be allowed to complete her matric examinations again. Certain accommodations were made by the education department to allow her 15 additional minutes per hour for her examinations. This unfortunately did not help her and she could not pass her examinations. Understanding dyslexia one would realize that even an additional week would not make Anica do any better at her tests.
It was then decided that her condition needed to be motivated to the Education Department at a provincial level and it be requested that oral examinations were required for Anica’s condition. With regret the Sedibeng district handled the request very poorly. Promises were made to visit her school and arrange for oral examinations. Nothing came of it and after several phone calls, emails and attempts to contact even the DBE (Department of Basic Education), we were informed that the particular person responsible for these accommodations had forgotten about our urgent request and actually does not know what dyslexia means.
Later, a desperate phone call as last resort to the district had been placed on speaker phone. This was surely divine intervention! Marlene Coetzer, an optometric patient of mine from the district’s office, heard my heartfelt plea for this young talented, however dyslexic lady. This was at 12h00 on the Friday afternoon before Anica’s final examinations were to start that following Monday morning. At 16h00 that Friday afternoon, Marlene called us to inform us of the wonderful news that Anica can start her oral examinations the following Monday with a scribe and a reader in a separate venue at the school in Vanderbijlpark. Anica went on to perform her oral examinations and passed with exemption, achieving a mark of 72% for Afrikaans 1st Language and 66% for English 2nd Language.
Anica is currently a student at North West University, Vaal Campus, studying towards her degree
This article sets an example of what can be achieved and motivates all those out there who are dyslexia sufferers. It serves the purpose of showing parents and children with Dyslexia, that there is hope.
Sandra Stark & Stacy Chronis