Education
Education

Dr Yao Yekple, the Acting Head of Department of Special Education, University of Education Winneba (UEW), has urged the Government to prioritise inclusive education to give equal opportunities and privileges to all children regardless of their disability or economic circumstances.

That, he said, would give true meaning to the constitutional provision of education as a fundamental human right to enable Ghanaian children to unearth their talents.

Dr Yekple was speaking at a workshop on Universal Design for Learning (UDL), attended by special education teachers, district coordinators, administrators, the Ghana Federation of Disability Organisations and the media at Cape Coast.

The participants received training in pedagogical framework that did not facilitate access to curriculum and meaningful learning opportunities, but enabled students with diverse needs to progress in inclusive settings.

He called on the society to ensure that people with intellectual disability had the full range of human rights in civil, social, economic and cultural activities particularly children with intellectual disabilities were entitled to the same human rights enjoyed by others.

Dr Yekple stated that inclusive education was the only means to address the access and enrolment challenges, the exclusionary and segregation practices for all children with disabilities and those with special educational needs.

He said children with disability had been largely neglected and excluded from formal education over the years, adding that “if access to formal education is a fundamental human right of every child, then why will society discriminate against special children.”

Dr Yekple urged teachers to refrain from abusing children with special needs in classrooms as it was against inclusive practices.

He said teachers needed to be mindful of the fact that any of them who failed to adopt an effective pedagogy to teach, was practising discrimination, segregation and impeding the practice of effective inclusive education.

“As teachers, we need to understand that insults, the hitting of children’s heads and all forms of excessive physical punishments would not add anything to the cognitive improvement of children,” he added.
Therefore, he urged them to do away with such practices that he described as “alien” and a threat to effective inclusive education.

Mrs Jane Sabina Obeng, the Central Regional Director of Education, commended Professor Tiece M. Ruffin, a 2017/2018 Fulbight Scholar of Special Education at UEW for taking keen interest to build the capacity of teachers in inclusive education.

She reiterated the Government’s commitment to providing infrastructure and support mechanisms for teachers to boost their morale.

Mrs Obeng encouraged parents to challenge their children with special needs to develop their self-esteem.

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