Kpando Municipal Assembly and Frank Foley Educational Support Fund (FFESF), a Non-governmental Organization (NGO) have jointly cut sod for the construction of a fence wall for Kpando Community Inclusive Special School (KCISS) at Kpando- Abanu in the Volta Region.
The move followed the presentation of forty (40) bags of cement by the Kpando Municipal Assembly to the school, towards the realisation of this objective.
The KCISS was established in the early 90s and is believed to be the least resourced of all the segregated special schools in the country in terms of infrastructure.
The most pressing need of the school amongst its tall infrastructural deficit is a fence wall, the absence of which resulted in the missing of two learners of the school some years ago, with another one getting drowned in the Volta Lake.
Speaking at the event, Mr Geoffrey Badasu the Municipal Chief Executive of Kpando, lauded the staff of the school and the Kpando- Abanu community for their sacrifices towards the upbringing of the learners at the special school, adding that, “the Good Lord is the only one that can reward you for your love and care for these unfortunate children.”
Mr Badasu reiterated the government’s commitment to supporting the school and gave the assurance that the Assembly would continue to assist in any way possible to better the lives of the learners.
The MCE reminded all who pledged to support the project, or the school should redeem such pledges saying “it is a serious business to want to support such a venture. It is better not to pledge to support these young ones than to do so and dishonour such a pledge,” he said.
Mr Frank Foley, founder, and Executive Director of FFESF, noted that the role of Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) in the overall development of the country could not be over-emphasized.
He said the decision by his organization to collaborate with the Kpando Municipal Assembly and other stakeholders was borne out of the plight of the learners at the school.
Mr Foley bemoaned the lack of inclusion and discrimination against PWDs, including persistent exclusion from development programmes and funds, employment, health services, economic empowerment programmes as well as transport services, and called for a change in the status quo.
Mr Foley mentioned the renovation of the Hohoe Municipal Library in 2016, the construction of the Female and Juvenile Holding Centres (Cell) at Hohoe, roofing of the Hohoe R. C. Boys’ School as well as the donation of food items, provision of toiletries to the three special schools in Hohoe between 2019 and 2022, as some of the successes chalked since the inception of the Fund, some ten years ago.
Madam Hilda Amegatcher, the Kpando Municipal Director of Education, said, every child has the right to the same opportunities as others, regardless of the difficulties they face.
She said, children with special needs, like autism, down syndrome, cerebral palsy, behaviour and emotional disorders, among others, can participate in instruction and school life to a great extent when given the chance to do so.
Madam Amegatcher lauded the Assembly and the NGO for the initiative saying, ” it will go a long way to enables the children acquire knowledge in line with their unique needs and abilities with the help of Special Educators and well-equipped classrooms.”
Mr Michael Alayi, headteacher of the school, lamented the huge infrastructural deficit of the school.
He mentioned lack of boys’ and girls’ dormitories, an administration block, headmaster and teachers’ bungalows, classrooms, vocational training centers as well as a kitchen and dining hall complex, as the major challenges facing the school.
He appealed to individuals, NGOs, and other benevolent organizations across the country to come to the aid of the school in helping address these challenges going forward.
The Kpando Community Inclusive Special School was established in the early 90s and later absorbed into the public school system in the early part of the year 2000.
The school currently has a staff strength of 23, made up of 9 teaching and 14 non-teaching, and a learner population of 73.
Stakeholders, individuals, and invited guests who were present at the event made instant donations and pledges of cement and cash towards the initiative.