The Executive Director of the Ghana Blind Union (GBU), Dr. Peter Obeng Asamoah, has appealed to the government to channel more resources into the education of persons with disability in the country, especially the blind.
He stressed that if the country was serious about getting rid of blind beggars from the streets of the cities, then a conscious effort must be made to provide them with the requisite education.
“Education remains primary to the success of blind persons in the county, so if we are serious about making life meaningful for them, we must put our monies where our mouths are, that is investing in the education of such vulnerable group,” he reiterated.
Speaking to the Ghanaian Times newspaper, Dr. Asamoah said even though over the years blind people have had some sort of education, much more could be done to improve their lot.
He was not happy that there are only two specialised schools for the blind in the country especially, when the number of blind youth keeps increasing.
In addition to this, nearly 80 per cent of the resources for the schools had come from charity, but that should be the priority of the government and local authorities, he added.
“Every day we hear people complain of many blind people on the streets and question what is being done about it. But the root cause is that if people do not have education and livelihood, they will do that to survive.
“What we are saying is that when they are educated, then they have a greater chance of getting jobs in the future and instead of becoming liabilities to society, they will become assets and contribute to the building of society and their families,” he emphasised.
“Dr. Asamoah, who is also blind, said primarily the Ministry of Education due to their peculiar circumstances a lot more resources would have to be channeled to them to enable them to compete with their able brothers.
“Government must ensure that irrespective of the cost, blind children get the best of education they need. I think there are best forms of technology out there that can make blind people very efficient and employable in the future,” he said.
Dr. Asamoah said it was important to realise that even though the government had a responsibility towards persons who were blind, the families and communities of such persons who form the social collective also had an obligation to ensure that they got to school.
“I have seen parents who because their child or children are blind find it rather convenient to dump them in the schools and the schools for the blind struggling to bring them up,” he remarked.