Students at a day’s forum dubbed: Using children’s literature to foster inclusivity in Basic School,” have called on Ghanaians to eschew the perception that disability is a societal threat.
They indicated that children with disabilities had hidden talents that could be explored for national development and that they need to be equally handled as such, especially in schools.
The forum was organised by the Basic and Special Education Departments of the University of Education Winneba (UEW), for students in the two departments and other students selected from primary schools in Winneba.
Professor Tierce Ruffin, a Literature Lecturer at the Special Education Department, UEW and Ms Vivian Acquaye, Lecturer at the Basic Education Department, UEW, organised the programmes.
It aimed at sensitising the participants to use children’s literature as a tool for facilitating inclusive educational environments.
Professor Tierce Ruffin, who is also an Associate Professor at the University of North Carolina, Asheville in the U.S.A and a Fulbright U.S. Senior Scholar for the 2017-2018 academic year at the UEW, said inclusive education was a human right.
She said globally, human rights movements had focused on integrating children and youth with disabilities in “regular” schools and classrooms under the auspices of inclusive education.
Inclusive education has been cited as a human rights-based education due to its alignment with human right’s tenets, espoused in several treaties including; the Article 26 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
“All children are entitled to some fundamental human rights. It is, therefore, the responsibility of every society to ensure that the younger generations are nurtured and socialised with the requisite skills to consolidate and advance their communities.
Dr Anthony Mensah, a Senior Lecturer at the Special Education Department of UEW who chaired the event, commended the initiators of the programme, saying children’s literature had the significant impact on their lifestyle.
He said using literature played a lasting unique role in the minds of the children and expressed optimism that the teachers would use the knowledge they had acquired to impact the lives of children to contribute positively in the society.
The organisers donated Children’s Literature books to the Unipra South Inclusive School in Winneba.