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Ghana: 40 Teachers Undergo Training to Identify Children With Special Needs

About 40 teachers in the Accra Metropolis are undergoing a two-day training to be able to identify children with special needs.

The programme is under the newly created Chance for Childhood (CfC) screening application.

The CfC screening application which was designed by a Ghanaian Information Technology (IT) firm, ‘Tech Era’ would help teachers to identify seven areas of disability in children such as vision, hearing, communication, learning disability, mobility and self-care.

The programme was organised by CfC, an international non-governmental organisation (NGO) with sponsorship from Entain’s Ennovate Innovation Hub.

The teachers were selected from schools such as Nii Kojo Basic School, Mamprobi, John Westley Basic School, Palladium, Alwaleed Islamic Training Basic School, Kanda, Nima I Basic School, Saint Francis Xavier Roman Catholic School, and Ayawaso North Municipal Model School both in Maamobi.

The Global Inclusive Safe Garden Lead of CfC, Mr Richard Opoku, said children with disability were the most at risk of exclusion, due to the fact that they were vulnerable.

He said children with disability were abused and stigmatised which did not help in their development.

“There are barriers in the society, and if those behaviours are removed, children with disability would be able to function,” Mr Opoku stated.

He stressed the need to protect children to be functional for the society, adding that the United Nations Convention on right of children is a legally-binding international agreement setting out the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of every child, regardless of their race, religion or abilities.

Mr Opoku said the CfC application was currently been piloted in Accra and would soon be launched and replicated in other regions.

He said disability could be hereditary or occur during birth.

“Some types of disabilities are hearing, visual challenges autism spectrum disorder, epilepsy, and multiple impairments,” Mr Opoku added.

He encouraged parents to ensure good maternal health and nutrition before, during, after pregnancy, pre-natal care and pregnancy monitoring, child vaccination to prevent disease, good sanitation and hygiene practice to help in the prevention of disability.

Mr Opoku advised the teachers to use the application to help identify children with disability to provide them with better service for them.

He stated that the CfC, an International NGO operates in five African countries including Ghana.

“CfC started its operations in Ghana in 1999 as a child center organisation to promote inclusive education,” he added.

Some of the teachers who spoke on condition of anonymity to the Ghanaian Times commended the CfC for the initiative, stating it would go a long way to help the teachers to assist children with special needs.

They called on CfC to collaborate with the Ghana Education Service to organise more of such programmes to help children with disability identify their potentials in the society.

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