Hearing-impaired students unable to enter Winneba SHS

Mr George Frimpong (In dark spectacles) at the dialogue
Mr George Frimpong (In dark spectacles) at the dialogue

Hearing-impaired students have not been able to gain admission into the Winneba Senior High School since its inclusion into the all-inclusive school setting.

The Central Regional President of the Ghana Federation of Disability, Mr George Frimpong, who made this known, explained that that was because there were no sign language interpreters to work as resource persons to support the regular school teachers.

He said the embargo placed on employment had also made it difficult to recruit the resource persons, thereby compelling the hearing-impaired students to attend segregated schools against their interest.

Mr Frimpong, who was speaking at the Daily Graphic/STAR-Ghana Dialogue on Education Policy in Cape Coast on Thursday, the problem cut across other senior high schools in the country.

The dialogue, on the theme: “Unpacking the double-track system: Implications for sustainable financing and prospects for educational quality in Ghana”, was sponsored by STAR Ghana, the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with Ahomka FM, ATL FM and Coastal TV as media partners.

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It was attended by civil society organisations, stakeholders in education and media organisations.

Commenting on the effect of placing hearing-impaired students in segregated schools, Mr Frimpong, who is also a former Central Regional Coordinator for Inclusive Education, said such students who attended the segregated schools were likely to become timid and would not be able to interact freely with others.

“These students attend basic schools with normal children and perfectly blend with them, so when they are compelled to go to the normal secondary schools, which make them feel they are inferior, it creates a negative impact on them”, he added.

Disability friendly

Mr Frimpong, therefore, called on the Ghana Education Service (GES) to make sign language resource persons available in senior high schools that are running the all-inclusive system.

He said there was the need to make schools more disability-friendly, adding that, they should be provided with the necessary equipment, infrastructure and staff so that students with disability fit in.

Mr Frimpong urged the government to consider the plight of the physically challenged while implementing the double track system.

“In our quest to provide education for all, let us put into consideration students with disability and how they can be assisted to gain secondary education”, he said.