24 May 2019

Ghana: 'Post Hearing-Impaired Graduates to Special Education Schools'

Koforidua — The President of the Ghana National Association of the Deaf (GNAD), Mr Matthew Kubachua, has called on the Ghana Education Service (GES) to post hearing-impaired graduates into special education schools and schools running the all-inclusive system of education.

He noted that there were more than 70 hearing-impaired graduates from the various universities in the country who were unemployed.

Mr Kubachua added that deaf schools were for the hearing-impaired and that hearing people must be posted to general education schools, saying "we know the plight of the hearing-impaired and could therefore handle them professionally than the hearing people."

Mr Kubachua who saidthis in an interview with the Ghanaian Times last Monday, said his outfit wrote a letter to the Ministry of Education to provide special employment to the hearing-impaired unemployed graduates.

"We find it difficult to work elsewhere therefore the hearing people should not be posted to our schools to block our chances of earning a living," he said, and added that over ten years after graduating from the tertiary institution they do not have any permanent job.

He indicated that many institutions like the hospitals, bank and the Social Welfare Department needed the services of interpreters but the several applications written had not attracted response.

Mr Kubachua appealed to the government and business owners to consider the plight of the physically- challenged, especially the hearing-impaired and solve the unemployment challenges facing them.

The President of the GNAD further appealed to the government to construct a special education Senior High School (SHS) in the Brong Region for the hearing-impaired students.

According to him, it would enable hearing-impaired students from the Ashanti, North, Upper West and Upper East Regions to enrol in the institution in order to reduce the pressure on the only deaf SHS in Mampong in the Eastern Region, adding that he had to travel from Navrongo in the Upper East Region to Mampong for his SHS education.

He called on the government and Non-governmental Organisations to support schools running the all- inclusive system of education, especially the St John's Integrated Senior High and Technical School in the Upper East Region.

Mr Kubachua further called on the GES to make sign language resource persons available in SHS's that were running the all-inclusive system.

Relatedly, Mr Stephen Akuba, the Headmasters of the St John's Integrated Senior High/ Technical School, a school running the all-inclusive system, confirmed that the school had inadequate interpreters, thus affecting the academic performance of the students.

He explained that interpretation required much energy and because the interpreters were inadequate; each class had only one interpreter to all the subjects.

"When an interpreter falls sick and does not come to school as a result, then we are in trouble," he said, adding that the few also get tired even before school closes."

Mr Akuba said the school was forced to use an uncompleted Dining Hall as classroom, adding that bats had invaded the classrooms and that there were leakages in all the classrooms.

He, therefore, called on the government to complete the neglected 6-unit classroom block.

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