The Ghana Education Service (GES), Volta Regional Director Ms Enyonam Afi Amafuga has observed that despite efforts to make education accessible to all, many children were still not in school.
According to her, the necessary facilities were not being provided to make it a reality, regardless of provisions in the 1992 Constitution, the Education Strategic Plans and the Inclusive Education Policy, all aimed at ensuring that all children irrespective of their background and disability were in school.
Ms Amafuga said this at the commissioning of the first inclusive education resource and assessment centre in Hosita in the Ho Municipality and revealed that about 80 percent of school structures still operated without consideration for children with disability.
She said it was sad to note that those schools had no rails, ramps, audio-visual, braille or any other assistive device to help maintain such vulnerable children in the educational system.
She said another challenge too was that a good number of teachers were not trained with the necessary skills to handle children with disability, especially if such children were in class with others without disabilities.
Ms Amafuga said there were also reports of discrimination against children with disabilities even with the Special Education Needs Unit, all making it difficult to keep all children in school.
She stated it was for those reasons and others that such children had to be segregated at special schools, which were also sadly under-equipped.
Ms Carrie Brown, Director, Kekeli Foundation, a nongovernmental organization with the focus on people living with disabilities said through Ghana’s Education Strategic Plan (2018-2030) with focus on making education accessible to all, “enrollment of other children keeps increasing but that is not the case with the children with disabilities”.
She said though inclusive education was a right, fewer than five per cent of children with developmental disabilities in Ghana completed mainstream primary school.
Ms Brown said having identified some of those challenges, the Centre was birthed to get all children into the mainstream school system while providing equal teaching and learning opportunities for them.