The International Day of the African Child has been celebrated on June 16 every year since 1991, when it was first initiated by the Organisation of African Unity.
It honours those who participated in the Soweto Uprising on June 1976.
It also raises awareness of the continuing need for improvement in the quality of the education provided to African children.
On this day in Soweto, South Africa, about ten thousand black school children marched in a column more than half a mile long, protesting the poor quality of their education and demanding their right to be taught in their own language.
Hundreds of young students were shot.
More than a hundred people were killed in the protests of the following two weeks and more than a thousand were injured.
Over the years, the right of children, especially girls, with disability to education has been gravely violated consequently denying them of a life of dignity as adults.
It is against this backdrop that the Day of the African Child 2012 is focussing on children with disability under the theme: “The Rights of Children with Disabilities: The Duty to Protect, Respect, Promote and Fulfil”.
Children with disability do not receive the needed attention they deserve in the society which GNECC believes should change after observing this day.
GNECC wishes to commend government and the parliament of the republic of Ghana for positive policies that support children with disability.
Act 715 provides for children with disability to be enrolled in school by their parent or guardians to study.
The act again entreats The Minister of Education to by Legislative Instrument designate school or institutions in each region which shall provide the necessary facilities and equipment that will enable persons with disability to fully benefit from the school or institution.
As we mark this day as a country, GNECC wish to remind the Minister of Education of Ghana about the provision they have made in the Persons with Disability Act, 2006 to provide for persons with disability access to education.
The question is, how many of our facilities and equipment in Ghana is disability friendly for children with disability to access?
As a country need to reflect on this day to see if we are failing or living up to expectation.
Children with disability have a right to Library Facilities, Special Education, appropriate training and all.
In these entire unfriendly situations, it is girls and women who suffer most because of their expected role and societal perception about what is expected of women and girls.
The Ghana National Education Campaign Coalition joins other networks to commemorate the International day of the African Child in Ghana.
We are therefore for calling on government and stakeholders like parents,communities,churches and others responsible for the provision of better education for children especially girls with disability to act now to enable them enjoy their right to education.Eventhough we wish to congratulate Ghana Federation for the Disable for championing issues of disability in Ghana, we are of the view that there is still room for improvement as far as implementation of the federation’s mandate is concerned and wish to call on them to do more.
A BETTER WORLD FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITY.