Student counsellors recommend flexible inclusive education

J. K. Nabary, GNA

Winneba (C/R), Jan.
23, GNA – Sandwich students of the Department of Psychology and Education,
University of Education, Winneba (UEW), have recommended a flexible inclusive
education reflected in the methods and materials used to give children the
widest possible access to the regular curriculum.

Mr Peter Amadu
Kargbo, a student, made the suggestion on behalf of his colleagues at a seminar
at Winneba for stakeholders in the education of special children.

He said more
attention must be paid towards developing the abilities of such children.

The Seminar was on
the topic: “Inclusive Education: A Tool for Nation Building”.

Mr Kargbo said over
the last two-and a-half decades, a number of major international statements
affirmed the principle of inclusive education and the importance of working
towards schools, which would respond to individual needs.

The United Nations
(UN) Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989), the UN Standard Rules on the
Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities (1993) and the
Salamanca Statement and framework for Action (1994 are all powerful tools in
the struggle to end segregated education.

Segregated education
denied children with disability the right to be part of the mainstream
schooling and reinforce society’s prejudice and discrimination against them, Mr
Kargbo said.

“These documents,
together make a strong case for inclusion, provide a unique opportunity to
place inclusive education firmly on the agenda of various national governments
in the world,” he said. 

The students,
therefore, advocated for the implementation of inclusive needs policy
throughout the county’s educational system.

“Preparation of
teachers for rural special education programmes should be planned differently,
since the aim of these programmes will be to integrate disabled persons in
their own environment and communities,” Mr Kargbo said.

An inclusive school
must enable education structures, systems and methodologies to meet the needs
of all children, particularly those who face the greatest barriers to achieving
their right to education.

Parents should also
have the right to be part of all decision-making processes concerning their

On benefits of
inclusive education, Mr Kargbo stated that it provided a better-quality education
for all children and changed discriminatory attitudes in schools for a child’s
first relationship with the world outside their families.

It also allows all
children to be part of their community and develop a sense of belonging to
become better prepared for life.

Inclusive education
enables parents to forgo the beliefs and perceptions about children with
special needs by assisting them to develop confidence in helping their children
face the world.

Mr Kargbo said
though Ghana had attempted to create inclusive education policies, their
implementation were yet to produce results.

The group took the
participants through topics including, Definition of Inclusive Education,
Benefits of Inclusive Education, and Challenges and Counselling Implications
for Effective Inclusivity.