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Teresa Menka

Getting children with disabilities back into school in Ghana


In Africa, it is estimated that less than one in ten children with disabilities attends primary school. 

In 2015 Ghana introduced its inclusive education policy, aimed at getting all children, no matter their circumstances, enrolled in to school. VSO are working directly with the Ghana Education Service (GES) in Northern Ghana to realise this ambition. The project – Tackling Education Needs Inclusively - works to address the problem by tackling a number of factors including:

  • Community outreach and mapping – working with local volunteers to identify vulnerable children, including children with disabilities and girls who may be out of school
  • Work with communities to address stigma associated with disability 
  • Providing training to teachers to improve teaching methods and sensitize attitudes towards children with disabilities. Ensuring that vulnerable children brought to school are able to learn in a supportive environment
  • Where appropriate, provide specialist equipment, such as wheelchairs, to enable children with disabilities to get to and from school. 
  • Conduct screening for all children throughout school districts to identify issues that may affect a child’s ability to learn. In order to refer child for appropriate next steps.  
Before receiving his tricycle, Kuruk’s disability made it very hard for him to get to school.  Kuruk’s school - Presentation Primary School, in Nabdam district, Northern Ghana has also been made accessible through the addition of ramps.

Before receiving his tricycle, Kuruk’s disability made it very hard for him to get to school.  Kuruk’s school - Presentation Primary School, in Nabdam district, Northern Ghana has also been made accessible through the addition of ramps. 

Making an impact

  • Over the last two years, VSO has reached over 40,000 children. Including over 2,000 children with disabilities.
  • In the last 12 months:
    • 2,400 vulnerable children who have benefited directly from the community engagement and also direct supply of school materials.
    • 60 Community Volunteer Teachers have been trained to give support to vulnerable children
    • In Talensi district, 25 managers of education increased their participatory management skills and 327 teachers received training on how to screen and identify the learning needs

 

We have worked with VSO over the last ten years, helping to identify those [vulnerable] children. They’ve supported us with materials and with human resources. VSO education volunteers are experts in special needs. They have knowledge and can build up our capacity. We are rolling out the models they have taught us.

Joachim Faara,  Director of Ghana Education Service, Talensi district 

Volunteer Mary Loureth Carnable at Gaare Gbani School Northern Ghana Teresa Menka

"Attitudes will pave a great way for children with disabilities to be accepted in schools. I see the teachers now more open to receiving children with disabilities It feels like my stay here in Ghana has been worth it"

 

Mary Loureth Carnable, VSO Education Volunteer

Partners

Tackling Education Needs Inclusively in Ghana is run in partnership with the Ghana Education Service and supported by Comic Relief. 

Support our work

Please consider making a donation, or joining us as a volunteer or partner to help us bring equal access to quality education.

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