Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Go, Ghana, Go

I stumbled upon this recent article from, Ghana's leading general news and information destination online.  It describes that nation's impending inclusive education policy, planned for rollout in 2015.

Tanzania had one such similar national strategy first conceived in 2008 or so, but alas, it was more lip-service than put-in-practice.  Unfortunately, I have an uneasy feeling that the Ghanaian model will face a similar fate.

But, here's hoping....  And, who knows, if the Ghanaians are actually successful and establish that all-important PROOF OF CONCEPT, perhaps the Tanzanians will take note....?

Ghana will implement a new policy next year that offers clear-cut, comprehensive guidance to inclusive education implementation.

Under it, community sensitization programs to educate parents to bring out their children for enrollment, and the right to pick the choice of schools for their children are guaranteed.

Mr. Thomas Patrick Otaah, from the Special Education Division of the Ghana Education Service in Accra, said at a day's forum in Wa that every year children would be screened and all those found to have less disability challenges would be integrated into normal schools.

In addition, he said that special needs schools would change a bit, as children in those schools would be screened, assessed, and re-categorized, and those who could cope, would also be mainstreamed.

"With the implementation of the policy in 2015, no headmaster or teacher can turn away a child from his or her school because of disability."

"Head teachers will have to accept, admit, and welcome the children to school.  Every child has a right to education irrespective of individual physical, emotional, and intellectual difficulties or characteristics."

The policy also allows for pre-service and in-service training for teachers to manage children with special educational needs, and the University of Education, Winneba, will increase intake and provide this specialized training.

Mr. Otaah urged stakeholders, including community leaders, school authorities, parents and guardians, as well as district assemblies and educational authorities, to play their roles appropriately to ensure that the country adheres to this inclusive education policy.

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