‘Don’t abandon children with learning difficulties’

Accra,More than 40 per cent of children with learning difficulties in Ghana suffer parental neglect which affects their progress in life, Mr Richard O. Opoku, Programmes Manager of the Special Attention Project (SAP) has said.

Mr Opoku said a significant number of children therefore stop going to school and migrate to the streets, where they engaged in all kind of social vices.

He said learning difficulties in children in Ghana was mostly interpreted as laziness and spiritual problems, which was worrying, explaining that, some of the children only needed special attention and strategic teaching methods.

Speaking to the Ghana News Agency in an interview, the SAP's Programmes Manager urged parents to desist from abandoning their children because of their inability to perform well academically in school, but exercise more patience and assist them to learn better.

Such children need more attention from parents and teachers. They can be helped to learn better through patience and adequate assistance,'' he noted.

Mr Opoku also called on government to expedite the full implementation of the Inclusive Education Policy and intensify vocational and technical training to facilitate the development of the technical and vocational skills of children who were good in those areas.

Most of the children with learning difficulties have incredible vocational and technical talents. I am urging government to create enough room for the development of such talents for the benefit of the children and the country, he added.

Mr Opoku re-affirmed the commitment of the SAP towards developing robust education mechanisms to meet the learning needs of children with learning difficulties to propel the efforts of the country to reach economic growth and development.

The SAP is a Ghanaian Non-Governmental Organisation that improves the lives of children with Specific Learning Difficulties by spreading information to the public, advocating learning support for pupils with learning difficulties in mainstream schools.

It also conducts research and training on Specific Learning Difficulties and also provides practical support to out-of-school children with learning difficulties.

Our individual education programme for out-of-school children has been designed to also include pre-vocational lessons, sports, music and computer training, Mr Opoku added.

The Programmes Manager called on government and the public to support the project as it was working hard to develop the gifts of Ghanaian children.

We have designed the FonixGH reading method to assist children with reading problems to improve on their reading skills, he added.

The FonixGH reading method establishes a reading foundation through synthetic phonics using everyday words and common Akan words.

The SAP, Mr Opoku said, served more than 120 children per year at its Educational Centre located at Kaneshie Market in Accra, adding that, the SAP's team worked closely with the families of the children to reintegrate them at home and in school.

We use well planned methods to identify the problems the child is facing and apply the appropriate teaching method to assist him or her, he added.

The Centre provides free facilities for bathing and washing as well as breakfast and lunch for out-of-school children with learning difficulties who are admitted into the programme.

Source: Ghana News Agency

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