Recruit specialised teachers for double track system to handle disabled children— GBU

The Ghana Blind Union (GBU) has asked government to ensure it recruits specialised teachers to efficiently handle children with disabilities as it implements the double track policy next month.

It also demanded that urgent steps be taken to ensure that Senior High Schools in the country are disability friendly to ensure that quality education was made accessible to all.

“Though the double track policy is laudable, we are concerned about our children and want government to take steps to ensure that additional human resource are well trained and equipped with the needed skills and tools to cater for children with special needs.

We need to adjust and expand the available educational facilities and make them accessible to Persons with Disability (PWDs) while other provisions such as libraries, textbooks among others are made disability friendly,” the Executive Director of the Union, Dr Peter Obeng-Asamoa said in an interview with the Ghanaian Times yesterday.

It was on the sidelines of a stakeholders dialogue on Ghana’s inclusive education policy as part of activities leading to the commemoration of this year’s National Children’s Day which falls on August 31.

Organised by the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGSCP) in partnership with UNICEF, the dialogue, focused on discussing the plight of children with disabilities in accessing quality education and equal benefit from Ghana’s development interventions.

It was on the theme, “Leave no child behind for Africa’s development: the rights of children with disabilities.”

Dr Obeng-Asamoa called for the creation of special disability training units in all colleges of education in the country saying, “out of the 33 colleges of education, only three accepts disabled students which is very inadequate if we want to provide inclusive quality education to all.”

Making a presentation at the forum, the Executive Director who highlighted the provision of quality education as a basic right for all children under the 1992 Constitution, called for more concerted efforts to promote inclusiveness in the sector.

“Educating PWDs together with other children cannot be overemphasised because that is how they build their dreams and aspirations together as they grow to reduce incidents of fear, disrespect and discrimination,” he said.

The Director of Special Education at the Ghana Education Service, Madam Amina Achiaa assured that all students qualified for SHS education would be given equal attention under the double track system.

“The policy is to ensure inclusiveness and everyone qualified including PWDs will be admitted,” she said, disclosing that, “about 30 e-blocks equipped with disability friendly features have been provided to accommodate children with special needs.”

Madam Achiaa mentioned collaborations by her outfit with other agencies and institutions to promote inclusiveness at all stages of the educational ladder, entreating parents of children with disability “not to hide them but bring them out to enjoy their share of the national cake.”

The Deputy Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Gifty Twum-Ampofo reiterated that “as a country, we want to emphasise the need for child-friendly, quality, free and compulsory education for all.”

She called for accelerated action in ensuring that “every Ghanaian child is given the opportunity is access quality and friendly education to address the different needs that children have as a result of impairment.”

By Abigail Annoh and Sonia Amade                  

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