The Ghana National Education Campaign Coalition (GNECC) has called on government to increase resources allocation for the inclusive education policy implementation to two per cent of the education budget.
Mr Festus Longmatey, GNECC Programmes Officer, who made the call said inclusive education policy implementation over the years had been largely donor dependent.
“It was now more than ever, important to increase the budget from 0.8 to 2 per cent to enable the country to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) goal four by 2030,” he said.
Mr Longmatey was speaking at a forum organized by the National Resource Centre for Children with Disabilities to commemorate the international Day of Persons with Disabilities.
The day was to deliberate on how best to move inclusive education forward to improve outcomes for children with disabilities in the country.
The forum, which was on the theme; “Achieving Inclusive Education-Our Collective Responsibility” was aimed at building consensus with key stakeholders to translate the policy into action.
He said even though President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo had pledged at a summit in United Kingdom to increase the budget allocation of inclusive education to 1.5 per cent they pray government would increase it to 2 per cent.
“We also wish that government commits more resources to the implementation process to ensure that no child was left behind,” he said.
The GNECC Programmes Officer said it was also necessary that massive sensitization activities of the policy was embarked on at the district level to enable people to understand the dictates of the plan for effective implementation.
He noted that Civil Society Organisations were doing all they could to ensure that there was enough awareness in the communities to effectively promote the interest of persons living with disabilities.
Mr Londmatey urged parents not to hide children with disabilities but rather enable them to have access to education to realize their potentials.
Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh, the Minister of Education, in a speech read on his behalf commended the NRCCD for organizing the forum, which focused on ensuring that children with disabilities were not left behind in education.
He said, according to the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the 2030 agenda, pledging to “leave no one behind” was an ambitious plan of action of the international community towards a peaceful and prosperous world, where the dignity of an individual and equality among all is applied as the fundamental principle.
Dr Opoku Prempeh said the full and equal participation of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society is critical, and “we must therefore create an enabling environment for them.”
He said education is a priority to the President’s administration and that was why he implemented the free SHS policy.
“It is the wish of the President that every Ghanaian child is educated and none is left behind. Issues of persons with disability are of great importance to the government, especially children with disability,” he said.
The Education Minister said globally, there are about 150 million children with disability. Though efforts are being made to ensure they are not left out in the endless opportunities in education, there is still much to be done.
He pledged to take up personal initiatives to ensure that, children with disabilities enjoy equity and access to quality education especially in mainstream schools.
Mrs Amina Achiaa, the Director Special Education Division, Ghana Education Service, said the implementation of the inclusive education policy was ongoing to ensure that no child was left behind.
She urged people to show love, care, and respect for person with disability because one could find themselves in such situation, adding that, people needed to be passionate when it comes to issues of disability to enable the country to reach its said targets.
She called for the upscale of inclusive education implementation to ensure compliance of minimum standards.
Mrs Hannah Awadzi, a Parent with a child of special need, recounted the difficulties faced by parents of children with disability on daily basis.
She said the only hindrance that existed in society as far as children with disability was concerned is willingness and therefore urged parents to be committed in making the lives of such children better.