State School for Deaf celebrates founder

The management and students of the State School for the Deaf have celebrated the legacy of its founder – Dr Seth Lawrence Tetteh-Ocloo, on his 90th birthday.

The celebration was to honour Dr Tetteh-Ocloo for his vision and contribution to the education of the speaking and hearing impaired citizens of the country.

At the birthday bash at the school’s premises at Adjei-Kojo, a suburb of Tema on Saturday, Headteacher of the School, Isaac Authur, said but for the establishment of the school in 1957, many would have been uneducated.

According to Mr Arthur, the contribution of Dr Tetteh-Ocloo has gained much recognition, especially in the Ghana Education Service (GES) resulting in the change of name of the school from the State School of the Deaf to now Tetteh-Ocloo State School of the Deaf.

A vocational center for the students of the school to learn various crafts such as dressmaking, hairdressing among other vocational skills, he said had been added to the school.

“We are grateful for your vision and foresight. Through your vision, hundreds have passed through this school and are making great strides in life. All we have to say is that May God bless you and give long life so that you see the fruit of your toil bear more fruits,” Mr Arthur, the ninth headteacher of the school said.

On his part, Dr Tetteh-Ocloo appreciated all the persons that helped him in fulfilling his dream of helping the deaf community since 1957.

 His strength, he said, were anchored on the word of God which said “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made powerful in your weakness”.

Crediting his wife and family for praise for their dedication and support, he said “All I can say is thank you lord for bringing me this far. You Lord has blessed me. For me being deaf, I have served the deaf and humanity since 1957 up till now. Thanks to all who have helped me along this long journey,” he said.

The Special Education Coordinator of the Ghana Education Service for the Tema West Municipal Assembly, representing the District Director of Education assured the gathering of the readiness of her office to continue their support services to the school to improve both teaching and learning activities in the school.

Dr Tetteh-Ocloo holds a Bachelors Degree in Psychology from the Gallaudet College, and a Master’s Degree in Deaf in Education from the same University in 1965.

Born a hearing able person in Sokpe in the Volta Region, Dr Tetteh Ocloo had admission into the Government Secondary Technical School in Takoradi where he planned to study science towards a future career in engineering.

In August 1952, he contracted Spinal Meningitis and fell unconscious, regained consciousness three days later, but lost his hearing completely and his ability to stand, much less walk.

Through the benevolence of a Catholic Missionary, Rev Father Andrew Foster, Dr Tetteh-Ocloo travelled to the US where he was educated and upon his return, established the school, then in Osu, to give a opportunity to the hearing and speaking disabled people to be educated.

BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI

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