Hannah Awadzi, GNA
Accra, Aug. 30, GNA – Stakeholders in the
various Disabled Persons Organizations (DPOs) on Wednesday discussed Ghana’s
inclusive education policy and called on district assemblies to mainstream
inclusion in their budget.
Mrs Florence Ayisi Quartey, Acting Director of
the Department of Children, under the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social
Protection said the various district assemblies need to include in their budget
line monies that will be used to achieve inclusive education.
Mrs Quartey also said in response to a comment
to ensure inclusion at the crèche level, the department of children will look
into the guidelines for setting up of early childhood development centres to
ensure inclusion at that level.
Dr Obeng Asamoah, Executive Director of the
Ghana Blind Union, speaking on the Implications of the Inclusive Education
Policy on Children with Disabilities said it will help children with
disabilities to have better aspirations in life.
“If you put all children with one disability
together, their level of thinking and their self-esteem is affected, having
children with disabilities and those without disabilities together tend to help
children with disabilities to aspire to greater heights as their counterparts,”
Dr Asamoah said the implementation of the
inclusive education policy in Ghana will also provide an opportunity for
children with special needs to be educated in their own communities; they don’t
have to travel to a special school somewhere.
Mrs Gifty Twum-Ampofo, Deputy Minister for
Gender, Children and Social Protection said there is the dire need for
intervention that guarantee the survival, protection and development of
children with disabilities.
She said as a country the rights of children
with disabilities to access quality education are recognized, however, the
situation on the ground shows that children with disabilities remain the most
excluded from accessing education and its benefits.
“It is rather unfortunate that in most
countries including Ghana, the educational sector have created separate schools
for children with disabilities and tagged it “Special Schools” that provides
for a small number of children…this does not help the children to integrate
fully in society…,” she said.
Mrs Twum-Ampofo advised that people should
shift in the way they treat disabilities, saying, “Instead of disability being
viewed as a shortcoming on the part of the individual, the focus has now moved
to the environment and society as well as the lack of consideration for human
Madam Amina Achiaa, Director of the Special
Education Division of the Ghana Education Service took participants through the
Inclusive Education Policy, pledging the GES commitment towards inclusive
education in Ghana
Some Participants suggested that the inclusive
education policy was mainly donor driven without much commitment from the
government and pointed out the need for government to own Ghana’s Inclusive
The discussions were held as part of the
celebration of the 2018 National Children’s Day on the theme: “Leave no child
behind for Ghana’s development: The rights of children with disabilities”.