Group wants waiver of educational levies for disables in Nkwanta

PupilsVoice of the People with Disability Ghana, (VOICE-Ghana), a Ho-based disability interest advocacy group, wants the Nkwanta-South District Assembly to waive all levies for children with disabilities in basic schools in the area.

Such waivers, the group said, should include Parent/Teacher Association (PTA) dues.

The demand, informed by situational findings on the plight of the disabled school-going kids in the area, was contained in a petition signed by Mr Francis Asong, Director of Voice-Ghana.

Strengthening Transparency, Accountability and Responsiveness in Ghana (STAR-Ghana), with funds from the DFID, EU, DANIDA and USAID, is supporting Voice-Ghana’s   three-year advocacy to improve educational opportunities for the disabled in the Ho Municipal and Nkwanta-South Districts.

Voice-Ghana said its baseline evidence confirmed that “at least 37 children with disability of school going age are not in school in the Nkwanta-South District.”

The petition also proposed that besides the waivers, a bye-law should be passed in that district “to make room for basic schools that have enrolment of four or more children with disabilities, to access the 2% District Assemblies Common Fund earmarked for persons with disability as incentive package to augment the payment of their educational expenses”.

Voice-Ghana focus is to ensure that “all children with disability of school going age in the district are sent to school in line with Section 16 (1) of the Persons with Disability Act, 2006”.

The petition said the group’s proposed local legislation to support the education of the disabled “will invariably lessen financial burden on many parents, guardians or caregivers of children with disabilities”.

It said these parents are “already overburdened with several financial commitments in supporting their disabled children to live a life as close to normal as possible”.

The petition said giving children with disabilities educational opportunities would add to the human capital of the nation, push for the attainment of the Millennium Development Goal on education and put the country in tandem with international conventions.

It warned that “excluding children with disabilities from educational and employment opportunities has a high social and economic cost for the nation”.

The petition noted that the Nkwanta-South District Assembly will become a flagship Assembly, going according to the laws of state, if it passed the suggested bylaws.

Assembly members, school heads and teachers, parents and guardians, school management board members, chiefs and women’s group leaders were among 800 signatories in support of the Voice-Ghana pleadings for the bylaws in support of fee-free education for the disabled in the Nkwanta-South-District.

Source: GNA

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