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Ghana Marks International Day Of Persons With Disabilities
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Mr Dasmani I. Laary, National Convener of Media Caucus on Disability, on Monday used the worldwide commemoration of International Day of Persons with Disabilities(PWDS)to slam the discrimination of PWDs in Ghana.

“In Ghana, PWDs are confronted with discrimination, victimisation and exclusion whether in school, at the market, employment circles, in the decision making process or even formulation of policies that directly affect their lives,” he said.

Mr Laary was speaking at the National celebration of the Day, in Accra on the theme: “Making Ghana accessible to persons with disabilities: concern for all.”

He said just about two weeks ago there were media reports about a blind woman who was refused to head a school in Wa where she has been teaching close to 20 years.

Though the Ghana Education Service (GES) had given her an appointment letter to assume work in February 2013, she was never allowed to assume office.

Mr Laary said: “Up till now the fate of the woman is in limbo, there has not been any official response from government while civil society groups, with the exception of the media, appear to be too quiet on the issue.

“Many others are going through such excruciating experience, or perhaps dying slowly. What do we do to assist them?”

He said the media caucus is therefore calling upon policy makers and implementers to consciously break these barriers and open doors for an inclusive society.

“Change requires collective responsibility towards the persons with disability and so we cannot be indifferent,” Mr Laary said.

Ms Ayishetu Ibrahim, was appointed Headmistress of Wa School for the Blind last year, and is yet to assume her post, despite the official letter given to her by the GES.

As at now the Wa Municipal Director of Education is exercising oversight responsibility of the school.

Mr Alhassan Suleiman, Municipal Director of Education, who spoke to Ghana News Agency (GNA) alleged: “The Methodist church resisted her appointment because she is not one of their members so I am now having oversight responsibility till a substantive head is appointed.”

The GES gave Ms Ibrahim appointment letter in January 18, 2013, which was signed by Mr Iddrisu Mahama, Upper West Regional Director of Education.

It stated, inter alia that: “I am happy to inform you that as a result of your success in the interview conducted for the post of headmistress, Wa School for the Blind - Wa, you have been appointed as the substantive headmistress with effect from February 1, 2013.”

Ms Ibrahim, who holds Masters in Educational Administration and Management from the University of Education, Winneba said though she feels “extremely embarrassed” she is going about her normal duties.

Following the delay in allowing the appointee to assume official duty, the Ghana Blind Union (GBU) petitioned the Director-General of Education many times to allow the woman to start work.

Dr Peter K. Obeng, President of the GBU said in a letter to the GES Director-General that the union was worried about the long delay, “in spite of the fact that this individual went through the entire procedure and was selected as the best person for the job”.

He added: “We crave your indulgence not to sacrifice quality and fairness in making the best choice for the school.”

Diocesan Administrator of the Methodist Church, Reverend Eric Asante-Danquah told the GNA that although the school is under the care of the mission, he could not speak on the issue because “it has not come to his table.”

However the GES says it is considering reposting the blind woman.

Mr Charles Parker-Allotey, GES Director of Public Relations, told GNA in an interview in Accra, that the Director-General has referred the matter to the Human Resource Directorate for advice and if necessary the Church would be called to order.

He said there is however the need for cooperation between the GES and the Church to reach amicable solution.

In another development, Ms Mina Mensah, Head of Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, Ghana, described the action of the Church as “discriminatory and violation of the woman’s right” to equal opportunity.
Source: GNA

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