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Opinions of Wednesday, 14 October 2015


Neglect of special schools worrying

Opinion Opinion

Special schools in the country continue to struggle for resources to operate.
The schools face numerous problems, including deplorable nature of their water system and shortage of teaching and learning materials.

Their living conditions are horrible and pitiable; the dormitories and the classrooms are overcrowded.

Many of the students who graduate from the school are not able to continue their education into institutions of higher learning due to lack of opportunities and facilities in many of such institutions in the country for them.

It is distressing when we consider the fact that these students/pupils are visually impaired.

Some of the schools are unable to even feed their students.
Government’s consistent failure to pay subventions to schools that cater for students with special needs has caused some of them to turn students away days after re-opening.

Across the country, authorities at the schools that care of students with special needs, like the deaf, blind and mentally challenged, say they have had to rely on limited stock and philanthropists to care for these children.

Parents do not pay fees at these schools but rely solely on government subvention and gifts from philanthropists.

Last week, Weekend Finder reported that the Mampong Senior High Technical School, Ghana’s only secondary school for the deaf, is in serious distress due to neglect by the state to resource it to function efficiently.

Sometimes, the school, through the Parent Teacher Association (PTA), has had to raise foodstuff from the community to feed the students.

Earlier in the year, food suppliers threatened to cause the arrest of the head teachers of the Twin-City Special School and the Sekondi School for the Deaf, all in the Western Region, for non-payment of food supplies worth GH?70,000.

The recent news about the delay in release of grants and other support needed for the smooth running of the over 30 special schools in Ghana is very troubling and defeats government’s quest to promote social protection.

These schools are attended by students who are Ghanaians and are entitled to enjoy all the fundamental human rights enshrined in the constitution.

Therefore, to treat such to students suffer with minimal concern does not augur well for social cohesion and integration of vulnerable groups into socio-economic development.

We have allowed these difficulties of the schools to be a yearly syndrome, and in no time our national conscience would be dead towards their needs.
It is unfortunate that people disadvantaged by no fault of theirs have to go through all these challenges.

We must act now to save the situation.

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