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Schools rejecting pupils with disabilities

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Public and private schools in the Ho Municipal area are reportedly refusing to enroll pupils with mental and developmental disabilities.      

The schools allegedly claim they do not have facilities and the capacity to handle children with special needs and turn them away.      

Mr Brandford Tay, Member, Steering Committee of Coalition of NGOs for disabilities in Ho, stated at a stakeholders meeting to develop a media strategy for inclusive education advocacy.        

He said from September last year, about 20 schools in Ho had refused to admit five pupils citing lack of special needs teachers.      

Mr Brandford said the act of discrimination had reached a crescendo with NGOs in disabilities struggling to find schools for children with disabilities in line with the policy on inclusive education.       

He said though some district assemblies were restructuring school infrastructure to accommodate children with disabilities, the Ghana Education Service was showing no commitment to the implementation of the policy.       

Mr Brandford cited the Ghana Education Service which continued to procure textbooks meant only for ‘abled’ children, with the argument that they had no budget to develop disability friendly teaching and learning materials.         

“Our children who are persons with disability are really suffering. They are not getting social contact with their peers,” he stated.      

Mr Eric Ofori, Member of the Steering Committee, said people with disability were citizens and ought to enjoy their rights.     

He said it was wrong for policy makers to prepare budget for only ‘abled’ persons without procuring essential items for persons with disabilities.      

The Ho-based Coalition is made up of the Lakeside Disability Rights Advocacy Initiative, the New Horizon Foundation for the Blind and Kekeli Foundation Ghana.

Source: GNA

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