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18.11.2008 Education

Physically challenged persons need co-operatives

By GNA
Physically challenged persons need co-operatives

Most Reverend Paul Bemile, Catholic Bishop of Wa, has suggested the establishment of co-operatives for graduates of special schools to empower them to contribute meaningfully to the economy.

He said in addition, they should be supported with capital and organizational skills to become self-reliant.

Bishop Bemile made the suggestion in a speech read on his behalf at the launching of the 40th Anniversary Celebration of Wa School for the Deaf at Wa.

It is under the theme: “40 Years of Education of the Deaf in Upper West Region, Successes, Challenges and the Way Forward”.

He called on the leadership of the Catholic Church to take up the challenge and encourage other stakeholders to support in the establishment of such cooperatives.

Bishop Bemile appealed to Ghana Education Service (GES) and other stakeholders in education to come out with technical and vocational programmes for special schools to turn out graduates with employable skills to meet demands of the job market.

He said persons with disabilities such as blindness, lameness, and deafness should not be seen as a curse from God, but be accorded with all the dignities and respect as members of the society.

Reverend Father Patrick Segkpeb, Chairman of the School Management Committee, called on parents whose children had disabilities to send them to school and not keep them at home.

He suggested that interpreters in sign language should be engaged in the law courts and churches to assist special school graduates with hearing and speech impairment to understand and participate fully in the proceedings and services.

Reverend Father Segkpeb commended government for providing funds to construct new school blocks and a defence wall.

He appealed to government and benevolent organisations to assist the school with a bus for programmes outside the school.

Mrs Esther Yelifari, Headmistress of the school, said because of inadequate interpreters of sign language students from the school had difficulty to gain admission to tertiary schools.

However, she announced that a student from the school gained admission to University of Ghana, Legon this year and said that would inspire other students to emulate him.

The Wa School for the Deaf started with a report on the survey of deafness in the then Upper Region in 1967 by Lieutenant General Alexander Drumon of Commonwealth Society of the Deaf.

The report encouraged the late Cardinal Porekuu Dery the then Bishop of Wa, to establish the school under the Catholic Education Unit in 1968.

It started with 20 pupils, made up of 17 boys and three girls, in rented quarters at Wapaani and now has 268 pupils.

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