Stakeholders discuss Inclusive Education | Ghana News Agency (GNA)

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    By
    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,”
    he noted.

    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
    differences”.

    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
    education policy.

    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”.

    GNA

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