A directive by the Ministry of Education to public schools to replace the use of blackboards with projectors and computers seem not to have gone down well with chalk manufacturers, who are mostly physically challenged.
Production of chalk for the Ghana Education Service (GES) is done at the Accra Rehabilitation Center, which has employed about 15 physically challenged persons.
They produce about 15,000 boxes of chalk per month for the GES.
They have, however, expressed worry about the Ministry’s directive, which they fear is going to keep them out of business.
“We are not degree holders to work in their ministries,” said Elvis Kosi-Alipui, Production Manager at the Center.
“Here is the case they are going to eliminate chalk, a decision which they should have made research on first to find out which people it is going to affect,” he pointed out.
MDG under threat
Mr Alipui indicated that since the directive is going to affect a certain class of people in the society, it is also going to put Ghana’s quest to reduce poverty, which is one of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), under threat.
“Some portion of the Millennium Development Goal talk about elimination of poverty and if the disabled is going to be out of business, how is Ghana going to achieve this MDG?” he asked.
Mr Alipui threatened they will join their counterparts on the streets to beg for alms if their source of livelihood is adversely affected by this directive at the Ministry.
“Ghana needs to grow,” he stated, “but we can’t just eliminate somebody’s business just like that. It should be bit by bit otherwise the disabled will go to where we don’t want. Already we wanted to get out of the streets, but here is the case we have something to do for now. But with this situation, we are going to do more than the streets.”
But Paul Krampah, Public Relations Officer at the Ministry, explained that the introduction of the projectors and the computers will be on a pilot basis, allowing the manufacturers of chalk to still do business.
“Education is a big sector," he said. "We have private schools, we have public schools and we are trying to introduce it in public schools and it’s going to be on pilot basis."
“The private schools will continue to use their chalk and blackboard. So there will still be avenue for those who manufacture chalk to sell their products.”
Source: TV3 News
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