The Australian High Commission has inaugurated the first phase of Ghana’s first all-inclusive school in Hosita in the Ho Municipality.
The three-phase project when completed would have a resource and assessment centre, kindergarten and primary blocks, junior high schools, cafeteria and accommodation.
Mr Andrew Barnes, Australia’s High Commissioner to Ghana, bemoaned how children with disability were mostly excluded from education and said the Commission under its Direct Aid Programme was prioritising education and ensuring that every child was supported and given equal opportunity.
He said the school would have all the necessary facilities to enable all persons to fully participate in an inclusive education “including the help of both specialists and general staff”.
Mr Barnes said the facility would bring comfort, motivation and confidence to children with disabilities and learning difficulties and help them excel alongside their peers.
He said though Ghana made progress in inclusive education in the areas of attitudinal change and service delivery, more work needed to be done in ensuring no child was left behind.
Ms Enyonam Afi Amafuga, Volta Regional Director, Ghana Education Service, said the school would help the Region and the nation to achieve its goal of inclusive education and a “100 per cent removal of segregation and stigmatisation of children with disability.
She said in achieving the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 to promote quicker national development, government needed to expedite action on the inclusive education policy.
Ms Amafuga said the newly established resource centre would allow the directorate to conduct periodic screening of all children enrolled in schools to detect any form of disability and pledged the directorate’s support in ensuring that the fully inclusive model school was utilised and maintained.
Ms Carrie Brown, Director, Kekeli Foundation, said though educational systems around the world supported inclusive education, children with disabilities in Ghana were left to rot at home, making them invisible as they do not get to be counted in national statistics or after birth.