Student counsellors recommend flexible inclusive education

Winneba (C/R)- Sandwich students of the Department of Psychology and Education, University of Education, Winneba (UEW), have recommended a flexible inclusive education reflected in the methods and materials used to give children the widest possible access to the regular curriculum.

Mr Peter Amadu Kargbo, a student, made the suggestion on behalf of his colleagues at a seminar at Winneba for stakeholders in the education of special children.

He said more attention must be paid towards developing the abilities of such children.

The Seminar was on the topic: Inclusive Education: A Tool for Nation Building.

Mr Kargbo said over the last two-and a-half decades, a number of major international statements affirmed the principle of inclusive education and the importance of working towards schools, which would respond to individual needs.

The United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989), the UN Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities (1993) and the Salamanca Statement and framework for Action (1994 are all powerful tools in the struggle to end segregated education.

Segregated education denied children with disability the right to be part of the mainstream schooling and reinforce society’s prejudice and discrimination against them, Mr Kargbo said.

These documents, together make a strong case for inclusion, provide a unique opportunity to place inclusive education firmly on the agenda of various national governments in the world, he said.

The students, therefore, advocated for the implementation of inclusive needs policy throughout the county’s educational system.

Preparation of teachers for rural special education programmes should be planned differently, since the aim of these programmes will be to integrate disabled persons in their own environment and communities, Mr Kargbo said.

An inclusive school must enable education structures, systems and methodologies to meet the needs of all children, particularly those who face the greatest barriers to achieving their right to education.

Parents should also have the right to be part of all decision-making processes concerning their children.

On benefits of inclusive education, Mr Kargbo stated that it provided a better-quality education for all children and changed discriminatory attitudes in schools for a child’s first relationship with the world outside their families.

It also allows all children to be part of their community and develop a sense of belonging to become better prepared for life.

Inclusive education enables parents to forgo the beliefs and perceptions about children with special needs by assisting them to develop confidence in helping their children face the world.

Mr Kargbo said though Ghana had attempted to create inclusive education policies, their implementation were yet to produce results.

The group took the participants through topics including, Definition of Inclusive Education, Benefits of Inclusive Education, and Challenges and Counselling Implications for Effective Inclusivity.

Source: Ghana News Agency