The Blind Teachers Association of Ghana has called on the Ghana Education Service (GES) to critically consider qualified and competent visually impaired teachers to the positions of headteachers and district directors.
The Association also called on the National Teaching Council, (NTC) to consider the special needs of visually impaired teachers and student teachers in the Continuous Professional Development (CDP) programmes, workshops and the teacher Licensure examination.
A statement issued by the Association signed by Mr Joseph Annang, Chairman of the Association and Mr Charles Owusu Boakye, Public Relations Officer to commemorate World Teachers Day celebrated on the 5th October every year, said the role of a visually impaired teacher in Ghanaian education is invaluable, contributing to a more inclusive, empathetic, and innovative learning environment.
The Association called for partnerships between educational institutions and organizations specializing in visual impairment to facilitate the sharing of best practices, resources, and expertise.
“Such collaborations can lead to the development of innovative teaching strategies and materials,” the statement said.
The statement said visually impaired teachers faced challenges in accessing appropriate teaching materials and technologies.
“Limited availability of Braille books, adaptive software, and assistive devices can hinder their effectiveness in the classroom. Preconceived notions about the capabilities of visually impaired individuals can lead to discrimination and biases, both within educational institutions and society at large.”
It said overcoming the barriers required concerted efforts in raising awareness and promoting inclusivity.
The statement said visually impaired teachers played a crucial role in fostering inclusivity within the education system and possessed a unique ability to empathize with learners, understanding their challenges, frustrations, and triumphs on a deeper level.
“This empathy fosters a supportive learning environment, where learners feel understood and empowered to overcome obstacles.
Visually impaired educators serve as powerful role models for both visually impaired and sighted learners,” it added