Association Calls For Well Structured Programme To Guide Deaf Education
5/11/2012 7:33:17 AM -
Nathan Pecku (R), Head of Special Education of GES holding conversation with E. Sackey (L), Prez of Association of Deaf, Peter Obeng-Asamoah and Samuel Asare The National Association for the Deaf (GNAD) has called for a well structured programme to effectively guide the delivery of deaf education in the country.
It said the lack of adequate attention and support, as well as a well structured programme were having an adverse effect on deaf education.
The problems deaf education faced, the association said, included the lack of qualified sign language teachers, lack of sign language interpretation in higher schools, insufficient accommodation for students in schools for the deaf and the low provision of learning materials.
The President of the association, Mr Emmanuel Sackey, said this at a stakeholders forum on deaf education in Accra last Tuesday.
Ghana has more than 12,000 primary schools, 5,400 junior high schools and 500 senior high schools.
The country also has 15 primary schools for the deaf, of which two of those are integrated.
There is one senior high school for the deaf at Mampong Akuapim in the Eastern Region and one integrated senior high school in Navrongo in the Upper East Region. There is also one technical institution and one integrated training college, according to the association.
“These schools are overcrowded by deaf students and there are more waiting to be enrolled,” Mr Sackey said, adding that apart from the inadequate infrastructure, facilities were also poor.
In some of the schools for instance, he said two students used one chair in a classroom and also shared a bed in a dormitory.
“Apart from the problems of the schools which the education sector does not take into consideration to develop, there is a barrier because when most of the students complete senior high school, they do not gain admission into the colleges of education due to lack of interpretation services”.
Mr Sackey noted that the use of sign language and sign language interpreters in schools were not being encouraged by the education ministry, and that if an institution wanted to admit deaf students, it was the students who had to organise to get an interpreter and pay the person.
The Head of the Hearing Impaired Education Unit of the Ghana Education Service (GES), Mr Nathan Pecku, in a presentation, said although some strides had been made in the education of the deaf, those strides had been insignificant.
He said the main needs of the deaf were teaching learning materials which were obsolete, as well as human resource for imparting knowledge.
“We are in an era of inclusive education and all who are eligible are expected to be enrolled in school. The schools are expected to be accessible to all regardless of one’s condition, ability or disability,” he said.
Mr Pecku said in addressing the problems deaf education faced, there was the need for a strong human resource base.
In addition, he said the government needed to set up institutions to train personnel in sign language and interpretation, and that there must also be regional training centres to train teachers and other lay persons who were interested in obtaining professional skills in sign language for ultimate employment in various institutions.