Rev. John Ntim Fordjour (left), Deputy Minister of Education, speaking at the programme. Picture: ERNEST KODZI
Rev. John Ntim Fordjour (left), Deputy Minister of Education, speaking at the programme. Picture: ERNEST KODZI

Establish assessment centres for learning disabilities : Founder of dyslexia organisation to govt

The Founder of Africa Dyslexia Organisation, Rosalin Abigail Kyere-Nartey, has called on the government to establish assessment centres across the 16 regions of the country for the early detection of learning disabilities such as dyslexia.

She said early detection of learning disabilities such as dyslexia allowed for remedial interventions to be put in place to help children with such condition.

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Such centres, she said, should have the right experts who would provide support to families.

According to her, issues such as dyslexia (difficulty in reading and identifying speech sounds with letters and words) needed great attention and interventions for the betterment of affected children.

"The minimum you can pay for Dyslexia assessment in Ghana is GH¢600 and how many families can easily afford this? So there is a need for the government to establish these resource centres with the right expertise to provide support for the families," Mrs Kyere-Nartey said at the maiden Dyslexia Education Stakeholders Forum in Accra on Monday.

Forum

The well-attended forum which is first of its kind brought together stakeholders and people living with the condition to deliberate on their experiences and the way forward.

Ms Kyere-Nartey also called on the government to put measures in place to ensure that all teachers were trained to be able to identify and help children living with the condition.

She added that schools in the country should also have policies on the condition to help children overcome low self-esteem and other challenges that came with it.

"It doesn't end there. I'm also calling that the Ministry of Education and Ghana Education Service should make it mandatory that every teacher takes dyslexia training before they come out of school. Even those who are already on the field should be given such training and certification," she said.

A Deputy Minister of Education, Rev. John Ntim Fordjour, said it was believed that people living with the condition were start-up billionaires as they had smart and innovative minds.

Support

He, therefore, called on parents and teachers to give the needed support and assistance as children with such conditions were blessed.

He further stated that the ministry was working with experts in the academia to put in place structures and environment that would ensure that every child born in Ghana would have equal access to quality education and to realise their full potential.

"Join hands with parents, join hands with people in academia and all stakeholders to raise awareness that we have some special group of people and those ones are the gifted ones who are integrated in every aspect of our education and must not be left behind," he said.

Discussions

Panelists at one of the sessions — Chief of Akwamu Adumasa, Nana Ansah Kwao IV; musician Okyeame Kwame, and an international youth ambassador at NoticeAbility (non-profit organisation) Bodhi Bragonier, took turns to share their experiences on growing up with the condition.

An entrepreneur and mother of a child with dyslexia, Akua Sarpong, also shared her views and experiences on taking care of a child with dyslexia.

Nana Ansah Kwao IV, who is also a radio show host on Joy Fm, said growing up he had to change schools about nine times because his parents were not able to identify what the problem was.

He, therefore, reiterated that government should put in place measures to train teachers in how to help children with the condition so it did not affect them psychologically.

The Founder of NoticeAbility, Dean Bragonier, said people living with the condition had the tendency of hiding their true potentials because of the fear of being called “stupid”.

He urged parents and teachers to pay particular attention to them in order to unleash their potentials.

For his part, Okyeame Kwame called on teachers and parents to pay particular attention to children with the condition as their learning took a lot of time and patience to bring out the best in them.

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