Mr Paul Apanga, Northern Regional Director of Education, has advised parents to offer their disabled children the needed education compared to those without disabilities to ensure that they do not grow up to become liabilities.
He said disabled children had the right to access quality education and also could be trained in vocational skills that could develop their potential to contribute their quota towards nation building instead of begging on the streets.
Mr Apanga gave the advice at Yagba in the Mamprugu-Moaduri District of the Northern Region at the weekend when he launched the phase two of the “Tackling Education Needs Inclusively” (TENI II), a programme aimed at encouraging local community support in areas of teacher volunteerism and redeployment in order to increase quality basic education in the three northern regions.
It also aims to achieve systemic change in basic education to improve retention, transition, completion and quality of basic education for disadvantaged children, particularly girls and children with disabilities, in the region.
The Integrated Social Development Centre (ISODEC) is implementing the three year project with support from Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO) in the West Mamprusi and the Mamprugu Moaduri Districts in the Northern Region, Talensi-Nabdam District in the Upper East Region as well as Jirapa District in the Upper West Region.
President John Dramani Mahama, launched the phase one of TENI in May 2009, when he was Vice President, to address education needs in some parts of the north, which benefited some 48,000 children, 2,000 teachers and 25,000 parents from the beneficiary districts.
Comic Relief, UK-based grants making organisation, which funded the phase one of TENI with three million Pounds Sterling is still funding the phase two.
The event was on the theme: “Promoting Progressive Education for the Girl Child and Children with Disability – The Role of Stakeholders.”
It was also to improved pupils’ particularly girls’ transition from primary to junior high school and their retention, performance and completion rates by 2014.
He called on stakeholders to collaborate with government support the disability children to attend school so that their can also contribute towards the development of the country.
He entreated teachers to be dedicated to their profession and be regular in school to teach pupils to promote quality education in the region.
Ms Agnes Gandaa, Northern Ghana Programmes Coordinator of ISODEC said 8000 girls had benefited in the areas of improved confidence from a number of interventions including girls’ camps, clubs activities, study tours, science technology innovation clinic to tackle certain socio-cultural factors that affect their education.
Ms Gandaa said the programme had also led to about 20 per cent increment on enrolment of girls and children with disabilities in the region.
She called on the government to build accommodation for circuit supervisors and other directors to enhance their work in the districts as well as introduce a motivation package for workers who accepted postings to deprived districts in the country.
She appealed to chiefs, the beneficiary district assemblies and other partners to support ISODEC to tackle some of the socio-economic barriers to girls’ access to education.
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