Monday, July 25, 2016

National Assessment and Resource Centre calls for urgent attention

The National Assessment and Resource Centre, a place where children with special educational needs are assessed for appropriate placement into school needs urgent attention from government.

Mr Anthony Boateng, Director of the Special Education Division of the Ghana Education Service has therefore called for expedite action to complete a new building for the centre.

Currently the centre operates from a temporary structure and do not even have a room to store equipment.

Mr Boateng in an interview with the media on the recently launched Inclusive Education Policy said: “UNICEF donated some equipment to be used for assessment to the centre but because the temporary structure is not in good shape thieves have broken into the place several times to steal some of the items.”

He said the building which was supposed to be completed in six month is now over seven years and it is still not completed.

“Staff feel so uncomfortable, when it is sunny, the place is too warm, they are not able to stay and when it rains hard, it is another challenge,” Mr Boateng said.

Commenting on the Inclusive Education Policy, he said the policy makes it possible for all children with special educational needs to be sent to school.

He said the Ghana Education Service has established Unit Schools, attached to regular schools in selected public schools where professionals and special educators are readily available alongside the mainstream teachers to help children with special educational needs.

He advised parents who encountered difficulties sending their special needs children to school to contact the assessment centre for help.

Mr Boateng said: “Children with special needs can now attend school and be trained, with the gradual implementation of the Inclusive Education Policy.

The Inclusive Education Policy in Ghana makes it possible for schools to accommodate all children regardless of their physical, intellectual, social, emotional, linguistic or other conditions.

Some parents of children with cerebral palsy earlier complained that their children were refused admission even into special schools.

Some of the parents explained that the schools required that children with special needs were toilet trained and were able to help themselves to a large extent before being admitted into schools of any kind.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Learn to exercise patience – Mrs Bedwei tells parents with CP children

Mrs Lydia Bedwei, Mother of Farida Bedwei, a successful I T Entreprenuer with Cerebral Palsy has advised parents of children with the disorder to learn to exercise a lot of patience in caring for the children.

She also advised parents to learn the various types of physiotherapy done with their children by professionals and inculcate it into their daily lives, emphasizing the need to involve the whole family in the therapy programmes.

Mrs Bedwei said this at a workshop oraganised over the weekend for over 30 parents with Cerebral Palsy children to enable them learn basics in physiotherapy and encourage networking among parents

The workshop organized by Sharecare Ghana, an association of people with autoimmune and neurological conditions, in collaboration with the Special Mothers Project, an advocacy programme on Cerebral Palsy, also served as a skill learning platform for professionals and parents to interact.

Cerebral Palsy is a non-progressive neurological disorder caused by brain injury or malformation while the child’s brain is developing. Cerebral Palsy affects body movement, muscle control, muscle coordination, and sometimes the speech of the child.

Mrs Bedwei said: “Sometimes it is good to take your mind off result and work with the children as if you are doing it for God, know that the child is part of you and after a long time light shines”

She also advised parents with Cerebral Palsy children to build a routine, like therapy time, feeding time, sleep time, etc for the children, explaining that it helps the children as well as the parents to have an independent life

Another aim of the programme which was supported by Diligent Care Services, a UK-based organization passionate about helping parents of children with Cerebral Palsy in Ghana and the  Accra Physiotherapy and Sports Injury Clinic was to empower parents with knowledge on Cerebral Palsy  and equip them to manage their children have an enhanced life
Mr. Augustine Acquah, a physiotherapist at the Accra Physiotherapy Clinic took the parents through basic and practical physiotherapy techniques that could be done at home.

A dietician, Ms. Ruth Nyarko, also educated parents on the right combination of nutritious food to feed children with Cerebral Palsy.

The programme also offered a platform for parents of children with Cerebral Palsy to network and share experiences.