Timothy Nakoja, father of a 14-year-old boy with cerebral palsy, has appealed to government to effectively implement the country’s inclusive education policy, to enable schools to admit more children with disability.
He has said his family was forced to lock their child indoors to enable them to work and earn a living, because “we have tried countless times to get the boy admitted into school, but to no avail. We are left with no option than to lock him up in a room while we go and earn a living on a daily basis”.
Mr Nakoja speaking to myjoyonline.com, lamented that “we were advised by a neurologist to send the boy to the mainstream school since it can facilitate his speech, but we have been unsuccessful”.
He said “first, we tried some private primary schools in our area, but they all rejected him, then we tried a government school in our locality and they refused him admission”.
Mr Nakoja said he went to the Special Education Unit of the Ghana Education Service (ES) to seek assistance, but to no avail.
According to Mr Nakoja “we were referred to the National Resource Centre where our son Eliezer was assessed and taken through a psychological test. We were then given a letter to go to Battor Special School, but the school refused him admission on the basis that he was not toilet trained.”
Mr Nakoja indicated that he had also been to the Dzorwulu Special School, Hohoe Special School, a special school in the North, and some private special schools, but they all give the same excuses.
Mr Nakoja said his son walked at the age of eight, but could not speak, use his hands to feed himself and not toilet trained, resulting in the refusal of school authorities to admit him.
“Nobody wants to deal with cleaning toilet on a daily basis, but he is a Ghanaian and has a right to education, I wish government can do something about this situation,” the emotional father said.
Mr Nakoja appealed to the government to employ more caregivers, especially in public schools and in the special schools, to enable them to take care of children with cerebral palsy.
He stressed: “Children with cerebral palsy are also citizens of Ghana, they have a right to education and quality life. We need schools and centres that admit these children to at least enable their parents to work”.
Mr Nakoja said that many parents were forced to abandon their career because they have children with cerebral palsy.
Cerebral palsy is a neurological disorder that affects the movement and sometimes speech of children. It is the number one cause of disability in children. – myjoyonline.com