Government asked to designate SHS in Tamale for inclusive education
The Northern Regional chapter of the Ghana Blind Union (GBU) has appealed to the government to designate a Senior High School (SHS) in the region as an integrated school to ensure access to secondary education for persons with visual impairment.
The GBU said designating an SHS in the region as an integrated facility would ensure that such a facility would be provided with the necessary resources and facilities to admit students with visual impairment and support them in their studies.
Mr Imoro Mohammed, Northern Regional Secretary of GBU, who made the appeal in a statement, he read on behalf of the GBU in Tamale, said lack of an integrated SHS in the region was preventing many persons with visual impairments from acquiring secondary education.
He was speaking at a meeting in Tamale to deliberate on the need for government to consider getting a school in the region preferably in Tamale for persons with visual impairment.
The meeting, attended by some representatives of civil society organisations and public institutions, was organised by the Centre for Active Learning and Integrated Development (CALID), a non-governmental organisation, in collaboration with the GBU.
There is no integrated SHS in the region to admit students with visual impairment even though it is estimated that there are about 5,000 persons with visual impairment in the region.
Mr Mohammed said the situation had compelled “The over 100 visually-impaired students to travel outside the region to attain basic and secondary education, and a considerable number of them stop school due to financial challenges.”
He added that; “This has been a major challenge to children with visual impairment as they have to travel to far places for basic education. In most instances, parents are not able to cater for such children to acquire education because of the cost.”
He said the situation had led to limited educational opportunities for persons with visual impairment and other sight conditions in the region, saying this was affecting their overall development.
He emphasised that “having a school or a number of schools in the region that will render inclusive education services will help promote decent and brighter opportunities for all” expressing hope that in the spirit of promoting inclusive learning, the government would urgently act on their appeal.
Mr Mohammed Awal Sumani Bapio, Executive Director of CALID endorsed the appeal saying, it would promote equal educational opportunities for all.
Madam Felicia Owusu, who is in-charge of Special Education at the Northern Regional Education Directorate, who represented the Regional Director of Education, empathised with the situation and gave assurance that she would brief the Regional Director to see how the situation could be addressed.
The Upper East and Upper West regions the GNA can confirm, have special schools at Gbego for the deaf in the Talensi District and an integrated one at Tono where a number of young people with various Disabilities sit in the same class for lessons with non-defective young people.