School Life


Because the school is a boarding facility, it becomes "home" for students for much of the year. Support staff and teachers in many ways act in the role of parents. Students do chores, such as keeping the grounds clean and doing their laundry. There is always a support staff person in each hostel over night to keep an eye on the students and deal with illness.

School bore hole

Older girls with beginners



The wide range of ages might seem difficult to manage, but actually works well. Older students often "adopt" the new beginners, helping them learn the routine of school, being sure they are clean and properly dressed, assisting in teaching sign language. They may share a bed and it is not unusual during chapel or other events to see an older student with a young one on their lap.
Each school day begins with chores at 7:00 as learners clean the grounds and carry benches from classroom to chapel. Assembly outside the chapel at 7:30 gets everyone in line and then students move into the chapel. Worship lasts about 20 minutes and is usually led by one of the teachers . Students provide choral songs (signed and spoken) and sometimes the bell choir rings as well. At least once each term the older students are in charge of chapel for a week; they often present chancel drama which is always well received. Announcements may follow and by 8:00 everyone is off to class.

Chancel drama

Preschool 4 Classes last from 8 until 9:30, when everyone breaks for tea. Resuming at 10, classes continue for preschool until 11:30 and for primary until 12. Afternoon classes start at 1:30 and go until 3:00. After school the students may have chores or may participate in sports such as soccer or netball. After dinner the older students may go to the solar-lit classroom to do homework or free reading.


Weekends are much like weekends anywhere. The students have some chores, but also a lot of free time. The sports teams can have competition with other schools. Some activity such as a video is offered in the chapel Friday evening. On Sunday, most learners attend church, many of them at the CCAP church on the mission station. The oldest students often come to the English service where they are welcomed as part of the congregation. They play the handbells and one or more teachers provide sign interpretation.

Student doing cleanup

Girls making ground-nut butter



Students return home during breaks between terms although some whose families cannot afford the cost of transportation stay at the school. Unlike students at some schools, learners at Embangweni School for Hard of Hearing don't always want to go back to the home village. They say "at home there is no one to chat with" and are usually very glad to come back to school.


Students working on grounds

Students pulling cart full of bricks to line paths