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08.09.2005 Education

Special education conference opens


Winneba (C/R), Sept. 8, GNA - Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo, Minister for Education and Sports has said that the Government has recognized that when individual with disabilities were given the needed support and encouragement, they could excel in all fields of endeavour. He cited as an example, the recent laudable achievement of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboa, a physically challenged individual, who won a prestigious award in the United States.

Yeboa in this respect had the glorious opportunity to sit at table with President George Bush and the renowned talk-show presenter, Oprah Winfrey.

Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo said these in an address read for him at the opening of the Second International Special Education Conference at the University of Education, Winneba on Wednesday. More than 200 participants from Germany, Netherlands, South Africa, Nigeria, Uganda and Ghana are attending the three-day conference, under the theme "Inclusive Education for Persons with Disabilities." Mr Osafo-Maafo in this regard said the government would continue to support institutions that train persons with disabilities and also see to the passage of the disability law. The Minister hoped that at the end of the conference, participants would come out with innovative and sustainable ideas and suggestions that could facilitate the smooth implementation of inclusive education in Ghana and in the sub-region.

In a welcoming address, the Vice Chancellor of the UEW, Professor Jophus Anamuah-Mensah, said the University is the only one responsible for the training of the needed manpower and personnel to fill the vacancies in the teaching profession.

He reiterated that there could be no meaningful and sustainable development, unless we harness all human resources, not forgetting those of persons with disabilities.

It is in this regard that the University has a policy of non-discrimination against person with disabilities, he said. Professor Anamuah-Mensah said, as stakeholders in the educational sector, the communiqu=E9 and the conference recommendations would be carefully studied and implemented to improve service delivery.

Mr Justice Nii Ayetey, Registrar of the University, who chaired the function urged the conference to come out with good recommendations that would help address some of the problems facing disability persons.