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Wed, 02 Jul 2008 Feature Article

Whose responsibility are our disabled children ?

Whose responsibility are our disabled children ?
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The plight of the physically challenged, particularly children in Ghana may not have been systematically addressed by various Governments and communites. There are various spectra of disabilities which may lack attention from our educational domain. For example; children suffering from dyslexic, dyspraxia, attention deficit, autistism, behavioural problems and others which may be caused by traumatic births, are not picked up at an earlier stage to get the treatment needed for them to reach their potential in life.

Our health care system does not have any screening for example, child health surveillance. This is where developmental progress in universal and it is free of charge also when appropriate with a referral protocol to provide services such as speech therapy, eye clinics, special needs schools. In many African societies such as Ghana, children with speech and language difficulties do not get the opportunity for a head start. Not only are these children labelled and bullied by their friends but also the stigma that is attached scars them for life. This also impacts on their confidence throughout life. If our current government is looking forward to a healthy economy for Ghana, then it may be worth considering all these things in the educational package to give them independence. In the developed world the physically challenged have gained employment in all areas and with the right head start for these groups in Ghana they will also join in our Government's determination to turn our poverty stricken physically challenged, speech impaired, sight deprived into independent individuals and a healthy nation of sound people.

Although the current Government's is working towardfs a very unique package educational . However, if the package includes our disabled children then it is a God-sent package. Our disabled do not want to end up as hawkers or beggars on our busy streets but useful citizens to help our economy. Currently there are moves to get rid of them. What are the alternatives for those poor street hawkers who have no other means to fend for themselves? Could it be that the system has failed them and they are trying to make something positive for themselves and our nation? Are children with any disabilites statemened and money earmarked for the extra edcuational needs?

If our Government would like to uproot poverty which is causing inequalities within our society then the implementation as suggested by the Government would need to be carried out very carefully and systematically. This programme could be ran in the evenings to accommodate such people so that within 6 months they would have gained sufficient knowledge to use those marketing skills they acquired from the hawking and the knowledge from the Marketing course could help the street hawkers to reap the benefits tourisms brings and divert into using their newly acquired skills to market their products professionally. We should not make the mistake of belittling people no matter their plight in life but rather reaching out to them half way to rise up and be counted. Every Ghanaian in the diaspora working in the field of child development with youth and children with learning disabilities should perhaps try and share their skills and experiences with our government. We are all trying to build a better Ghana and a better Africa. There is no need to re-invent the wheel and send people abroad to bring back such knowledge. Our Government is working with a very limited budget to solve many issues. If we claim we love our motherland then we need to be seen demonstrating this tangibly not just lip service and also picking up all the faults of our motherland and doing nothing but criticize.

All Ghanaians working in areas of children development and child health issues need to share their knowledge with the communities they come from? If you actually have such needed skills why don't share with the relevant organisations in Ghana.

There is the need to offer our support for our Government so that we could support and challenge schools to raise achievement levels so that all learners have the opportunity to fulfill their potential.

Parents do expect schools to work with them , children and the wider community, using positive role models to try and raise aspirations for our disabled bodied. Open evening classes gives parents an opportunity to air any worries.However this does not happen in ou rmotherland. Parents are left out in many case and governing bodies does not have much say.

All schools should by now have classes with is accessible to both the abled and disabled bodies . This would ensure that no one miss the educational opportunity. Our educational system would be seen as inclusive rather than exclusive.

There is the need to draw on schools strength, colleges and other educational institutions to create a city-wide learning community. Schools could be used in the evening for IT lessons as well as venues to teach street hawkers about marketing, slaes, PR techniques. No body should be left and the only criteria should perhaps be be full of enthusiasm to learn.

There is the need to make it easier on our children to follow courses that meet their needs and increase their chances of success in the workplace. Career counselling , work placements and career enhancement s. other intiatives.

Free parenting and support programmes need to be offered across the entire country. Support groups for parents of the disabled bodied and other developmental problems. We need to enable adults and children to make greater use of schools, colleges and off -site facilities to create more positive views of the educational experience.

Mentoring and coaching of students regardless of their abilities would be a useful service to help groom our youth to be aspiring citizens for our mother Ghana.
No one should underestimate the abilities of people with challenge physical disablities. Tom Yendell's foot and month painting business put our groups of people with physical disabilities to shame as he is a Director of Art business in Selbourne in Hampshire. Looking at Tom it appears that being arms is rather a blessing. I will encourage everyone to google Tom Yendell achievement's by googling his name and see what unfolds. What is our problem in Ghana and most of the African countries. Why are we crying wolf all the time?

Which team do you think has the higher chance of winning the 2024 elections?

Started: 02-07-2024 | Ends: 31-10-2024

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