Wa — The Wa School for the Deaf (Wadeaf) in the Wa municipality of the Upper West Region has expressed interest in enrolling onto the government's Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJs) programme next year.
The school was also aiming for an all-year-round farming if it was supported with a tractor.
Speaking at a durbar to mark the school's 50th anniversary at Wa on Saturday, the headmaster of the institution, Mr Sylvester Bayor stated that the school would take advantage of the PFJs to acquire the necessary farm inputs to cultivate crops on its vast land to support feeding of students.
Established on November 11, 1968 with 20 pupils at a private residence at Wapaani, a suburb of Wa by the late Cardinal Peter Porekuu Dery, a Catholic priest at the time, the school currently has a population of 267 pupils with 157 males and 110 females.
With the mandate to train the hearing impaired, Wadeaf had been extended to the junior high school level where students were given formal education as well as vocational and technical training such as block laying, sewing, catering, hand weaving and carpentry, among others.
To surmount the challenges with accessibility to tractor services, Mr Bayor appealed to the Northern Development Authority to allocate a tractor to the institution, saying it would also be given out to other hearing impaired residents of the region who were into farming, expressing that the move would reduce the frustration of such group of people in their bid to access tractor services.
Mr Bayor hinted that the school placed 17th out of a total of 73 schools in the Wa Municipality in the 2019 Basic Education Certificate Examination, (BECE), adding that the institution had been instrumental in the training of some students who had completed universities across the country or had acquired relevant vocational skills and were performing creditably in their various fields of endeavour, earning income for their respective families.
The Headmaster appealed among other things, the beefing up of security at the school through the provision of security personnel, street lights on the campus; the completion of an administration and library complex block which was abandoned in the 1980s and the expansion of the vocational and technical block to enhance studies.
The Regional Minister, Dr Hafiz Bin Salih intimated that it was necessary for the school to change its course of teaching and learning and included in its activities new models on the use and application of Information and Communication Technology.
"Times are changing with globalisation and advancement in technology, developing resourceful and responsible students in this era involves developing new strategies and taking advantage of technology; we cannot continue with our old practices and expect excellent results," the minister stated.
Delivering a speech on the theme; "The Impact of Deaf Education in the Upper West Region, Successes and the Way, Forward. Developing Technical/Vocational Potential in the Deaf Student," the Vice Dean of the Faculty of Integrated Development Studies at the Wa Campus of the University for Development Studies, Dr Africanus Diedong said the effectiveness of the all-inclusive education policy the world over faced challenges like the absence of a robust system capacity to support implementation especially with regards to knowledge on childhood disability.
He stated that the school was in dire need of modern workshops and tools to ensure effective training of the pupils to enable them to fit well into the competitive job market.
The Head of the Deaf Unit at the Special Education Division at the Ghana Education Service in Accra, Mr Victor Ansah used the occasion to present three boxes of electronic slates and other learning materials to the three special schools in the region namely Wadeaf, the Wa Methodist School for the Blind and the John Bosco Special School.