Promoting Inclusive Education for Deaf People in Ghana

September 28th, 2022 | News

According to the World Health Organization, over 5% of the world’s population suffers from disabling hearing loss. In Ghana, it’s 1.7% percent of the population, or 470,737 people. In some rural communities, there are children who are deaf who have little or no spoken language or sign language ability and a lack of access to inclusive educational opportunities. On this year’s International Week of Deaf People, World Education and local partners join the global community to highlight the importance of inclusive education, and call for removing barriers to education for people with disabilities.

The Strategic Approaches to Girls’ Education (STAGE) project is designed to reach out-of-school girls, including girls with disabilities, with educational opportunities and vocational training. STAGE is currently supporting over 1000 girls with disabilities, many of whom received vocational competency-based training and are currently earning income from running small businesses using skills like weaving, pastry and soap making.

Girls who are receiving an education and need more individualized support transitioned to Special Education Needs (SEN) Schools. To help with the transition, they received kits with uniforms, books, bags, school materials and assistive devices selected through medical and functional assessments.

While it is important to have SEN Schools available for students with disabilities, Ghana’s SEN schools are highly under-resourced. There are limited special education teachers, so the few who are available to teach are overburdened. A rapid assessment of resources in the SEN schools by STAGE indicated the need to resource Technical and Vocational education (TVET) in SEN schools across the country. The vocational training institutions in SEN schools, especially those that can create opportunities for deaf people, are inaccessible as there are limited or no sign language interpreters.

World Education, upon receiving an appeal from Gboego School for the Deaf, worked closely with the Accreditation Division of the Ghana TVET Services to procure and award a Provisional Accreditation Certificate under the Authority of National Vocational Training Board to Gbeogo. The school now has the ability to train students in the following programs:

  • Building and Construction
  • Carpentry
  •  & Joinery
  • Dressmaking
  • Batik Tie-Dye

In addition to equipping SEN schools with necessary resources, there is also a need to create scholarships for sign language and special education training, and alternative funding sources to support education for people with disabilities. We also support the Government’s fulfillment of its commitment on Article 8 of the Convention of the Rights of People with Disabilities to raise parental and community awareness on sign language, inclusive education, and the importance of sending children who are deaf to formal school, and call for the full implementation of Ghana’s Inclusive Education Policy.

The STAGE Project is funded by UKAID through the Girls’ Education Challenge, led by World Education and implemented together with seven partners. Since 2018, the project has supported 7,441 girls to return to formal school, and over 10,000 girls to gain vocational skills in various trades.

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