https://www.myjoyonline.com/prioritize-admission-of-students-with-special-needs-ghana-blind-union-urges-ges/-------https://www.myjoyonline.com/prioritize-admission-of-students-with-special-needs-ghana-blind-union-urges-ges/

The Ghana Blind Union (GBU) has called on the Ghana Education Service (GES) to streamline challenges associated with the admission of students with special needs into Senior High Schools (SHS). 

The union said many prospective blind students seeking SHS admission were frustrated by complexities, including wrongful placements in schools without requisite teaching and learning aids for the blind. 

Others are no placements and lack of support mechanisms particularly for poor students, many of whom are in the villages and hamlets. 

Dr. Peter Obeng-Asamoah, the Executive Director of GBU, said the rights of children with special needs should not be trivialised but prioritised. The student, he noted, should be given equal opportunities to enable them to realise their full potential. 

"Such children must not be condemned, but if supported and encouraged, they could come out of their shells to engage in meaningful activities. They have inert talents that must be well harnessed,” adding that: “The Union stands against the denial of any child to education in Ghana,” Dr. Obeng-Asamoah told the Ghana News Agency in Cape Coast. 

He was speaking on the sidelines of a day's stakeholders forum for selected advocates for children with visual impairments. 

It was attended by representatives from the Department of Children and Gender, Social Welfare, GES, Ghana Health Service, National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), National Youth Authority, Religious organisations, civil society groups and the media. 

Dr Obeng-Asamoah reminded the government of its constitutional mandate on education and called on corporate institutions and philanthropists to consider investing in the needs of blind children. 

He said there were many children with disabilities across the country, particularly blind children, who could not get access to basic education due to the lack of necessary equipment to train them. 

Currently, there is a technology for teaching blind children, therefore “If the government is printing textbooks for children in schools, why can’t they put some of these books in braille or digital form for blind children,” he queried. 

Mr Obeng-Asamoah further said more emphasis needed to be placed on value rather than cost, noting that “education is the only way to break the cycle of poverty. 

“The Union have been in existence since 1951, yet we don’t have any source of reliable funding and this makes it very difficult to run the union,” Dr. Obeng-Asamoah stated. 

Nana George Frimpong, Central Regional President of the Ghana Blind Union, spoke on discrimination against children with special needs. 

He said any manifestation or action that denied social participation or impeded human rights to certain categories of people in society or institutions should not be entertained. 

He advocated the promotion of inclusiveness at all levels for PWDs in the country. 

“Let us be sensitive to the needs of blind people and give them the attention and respect you would give to anyone else by treating them as every human being.  It is important for the public to disabuse themselves from biases that surround blind people. Anyone could be affected by disability at any point in their lives," he stated. 

During discussions, stakeholders raised concerns about how special needs children were often left stigmatised through exclusion from social activities and other forms of abuse. 

He pointed out that families with special children might face economic hardship among other challenges when caring for them.   

They indicated that the existing conditions of children with disabilities in Ghana highlighted the need for greater inclusion and support for the vulnerable population. 

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DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.



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