The School for the Deaf and Blind in Cape Coast is facing financial difficulties that may affect the re-opening of the school for the third term.
This is because the institution has not received the grant for administration and service since 2011, a situation which has landed the school in a debt of GH¢85,000 to those who supply it with food and other items.
“There is a lot of pressure and difficulty in the administration of this special institution since we virtually have to rely on well-wishers to remain in operation,” the Principal of the school, Mr Setumte Kululu Ametewee, said during the school’s Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) meeting in Cape Coast over the weekend.
The Cape Coast School for the Deaf was established on November 9, 1970, to provide formal school education to the hearing-impaired children of school age, particularly those in Cape Coast and its environs.
The unit for the blind was established in September 2001, to rehabilitate and educate the blind students in basic rudiments of Braille reading, writing orientation mobility, among other things before they are integrated into mainstream school.
The Ghana Education Service (GES) recently nominated the institution to commence the Post-Junior Secondary School Vocational Training programme, which commenced in September, to give the students vocational training in carpentry, agriculture, textile, catering, dressmaking/ tailoring and Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in order for them to fit into other sectors of the economy.
Mr Ametewee said it would not be possible for the school to re-open next month, because “our suppliers are reluctant to supply us with food and other items that will make for the smooth running of the school.”
“In spite of reminders and follow-ups to the authorities about our difficulties, nothing positive seems to be coming our way and that will prevent us from calling the children back from the break.”
The principal said the institution was unable to satisfy both children who were academically good and also those with vocational skills because there was no money to purchase the items required to teach them.
“We have the structures but we don’t have the necessary funding to train the special children in the various specialised areas,” he said.
Mr Ametewee dismissed the erroneous impression that people with disabilities were unproductive and incapable of contributing to the development of the society, saying “these people have the various abilities and only need support to display this to their level best.”
The Chairman of the PTA, Mr Kofi Odum, called for a greater collaboration between the staff and parents to ensure the smooth administration of the school.
He appealed to parents to pay regular visits to their children in school and not to “just dump them on the teachers.”
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