The Students Representative Council (SRC) of the Akenten Appiah-Menka University of Skills Training and Entrepreneurial Development (AAMUSTED) has instituted a special fund to assist students with disability.
The fund is to augment the University Management’s efforts toward supporting Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) at AAMUSTED.
Known as the AAMUSTED Special Needs Support Fund, it would provide financial support to PWDs in their education, entrepreneurship skills training and support advocacy for the rights, freedoms, and the interests of PWDs in the University.
Speaking at the launch of the fund, the President of AAMUSTED SRC, Mr Richard Opoku, said the council would use GH¢2.00 from the SRC dues paid by each student and 30 per cent returns from the SRC Gym as source of funding.
Besides that, he said the SRC would also seek assistance from philanthropists to augment its provision into the Fund.
Mr Opoku said the SRC’s motivation to establish the fund sprang from a desire to provide a stream of continuous support to the PWDs to forestall the likelihood of them being trapped in a cycle of poverty and dependence.
He was hopeful that successive SRC administrations would work harder to improve the fund for the good of the PWDs.
The Acting Registrar of AAMUSTED, Mr Michael Kofi Adu, who did the official launch, described the SRC’s effort as noble, thoughtful and significant.
He assured the SRC of management’s full support and advised them to put proper structures in place to guarantee the prudent running of the fund.
Mr Adu said the management would support an all-inclusive education, especially in the case of PWDs.
In that regard, he said the university was committed to improving the physical infrastructure in the university to make them easily accessible to PWDs.
The Acting Registrar, however, bemoaned the social discrimination faced by PWDs in society and appealed to the members of the University Community to endeavour to live with the PWDs in a manner that would engender a sense of belonging in them.
He said research had proven that maintaining a close social distance with PWDs enhanced the development of a favourable attitude toward physically challenged students.
The Vice Dean of Student Affairs at the Kumasi Campus of AAMUSTED, Dr Philip Oti-Agyen, said society owed it a duty to reach out to the PWDs and support them in all their endeavours, and therefore, praised the SRC for the setting up the fund.
He was happy that the current SRC leadership had avoided spending so much on entertainment-related activities and concentrated resources on things that held long lasting value to the university and students.
“This Fund is the first of its kind in this university; it is a great and shining example worthy of emulation,” he said, encouraging the students to contribute cheerfully to the fund.