On the International Day of the People Living with Disabilities, UNICEF and partners are calling for the removal of all barriers that exclude children with disabilities from education in Ghana.
According to UNICEF Representative in Ghana, Dr. Iyabode Olusanmi, “We all know that Ghana has made a lot of progress in the area of education. Today, 84 per cent of children go to primary school. Primary enrolment of girls has also increased, achieving gender parity at the national level. But there is one group of students who continue to be marginalised… children with disabilities.”
He added that “we must work together to ensure that all existing gaps are bridged.”
The Ministry of Education data suggests that children with disabilities account for less than 1 percent of the total enrolment of main stream basic schools in Ghana.
In partnership with the government, civil society and UN agencies, UNICEF is laying the ground work to create a valued place in the schooling system for children with disabilities and other marginalised groups.
This year, UNICEF expanded its support to the Ghana Education Service in implementing inclusive education programmes for children with special needs in deprived districts in 5 regions of Ghana. UNICEF partnered with School for Life, an NGO to provide basic education opportunities for out-of-school children including children with disabilities.
In 2013, UNICEF‘s flagship publication, The State of the World’s Children
will also focus on children with disabilities.
“Through observance of International Day of People living with Disabilities we shall also aim to promote an understanding of disability issues and to mobilize support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities,” Dr Olusanmi said.