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Regional News Mon, 22 Jul 2013

No capitation grant affecting Special schools

The exclusion of special schools in the mainstream sector from receiving capitation grants has rendered their managers helpless, unable to provide the “little special needs of their pupils”.

Mr. Edward Matsi, Volta Regional Manager of the Anglican Schools, made the observation during the presentation of some play and development materials by VOICE-Ghana, a Ho based disability interest advocacy NGO, to the Anglican Special Needs Unit, attached to the Anglican Basic School Complex, over the weekend in Ho.

Capitation grants are used for minor repairs and procurement of essential teaching and learning materials, sports and cultural activities and servicing end of term examinations, as well as supporting needy children.

Mr. Matsi said these schools do not have such dispensation; as a result, their managers cannot take the initiative to “fix the little problems of the schools”.

The Ghana News Agency (GNA) observed that classroom furniture at the Anglican Special Needs Unit were wobbly, the school block bare and unpainted, without electricity and the surroundings rugged.

Esinam Arku, Head of the school said, because the school had no lockers, she was wondering how to keep the “very valuable gifts” safely.

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She said the school had 20 pupils and that an outreach indicated that there were many others in the community needing that special tutoring.

Ms Arku said movement on regular basis from home to school appeared the main reason for parents shirking their responsibilities towards children with special educational needs.

Voice-Ghana on the same day also presented Braille and magnifiers among others to the Braille Resource Centre of the Mawuli Senior High School, also in Ho.

Paul Fiavi, Board Chairman of Voice-Ghana, speaking at the short ceremony, regretted the inability of the GETFund “to provide the necessary funding for the completion of the Centre, although the school has started admitting some students with visual impairment for the 2012/2013 Academic Year”.

The construction of the Braille Centre started in 2006, as part of the GES plan to make Mawuli School inclusive for students with visual impairment, in fulfillment of Section 17 of the Persons With Disability Act 2006.

Fevlo Simon Newell, Head of the Centre, told the GNA that the Centre had five students, two females and three males, adding that, the donation had made Mawuli School the leaders in the area of Inclusive Education.

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The donated materials were part of a consignment of disability aids, worth approximately 10,000 US dollars, delivered to Voice-Ghana, under the auspices of Miss Rae Tayler, once an exchange student from Massachusetts- USA, to Mawuli School.

The donations collected from various sources in the US, included 350 boxes of Braille and large print books and educational materials, 155 pairs of crutches, 70 walkers, 15 wheelchairs and additional mobility equipment. .

Other institutions to benefit from the shipment include the Visually Impaired Unit, Adidome Senior High School, Adidome, Volta Region, New Horizon for the Blind (NHFB), Ho, Ghana Blind Union, Ho, Ghana Blind Union, Kpedze, among others.

Mrs Dora Homado, Ho Municipal Director of Education, who received the items on behalf of the Director-General of the GES, said the materials would boost the GES’s agenda of Inclusive Education considerably.

Source: GNA