The need for students to earn a high school certificate has never been greater. We must recognize this passing need and answer with designed initiatives to keep students with Learning Disabilities, attention deficits and behavior in school, decrease their graduation risk and expand their access to post-secondary education.
Currently, 27,426 (10% of total population of 274,262) students with learning disabilities graduated from high school this year are at risk obtaining successful high school certificate.
The over 70, 000 graduates obtaining D7-F9 in the 2016 WASSCE is alarm of high prevalence of students with learning disabilities, attention deficit and behavior disorder at all level of our education system. More students with learning disabilities, attention deficit and behavior disorder drop out than to graduate. This has long term effects on the universities/colleges and career prospects of students with learning disabilities, including contributing to unemployment rate, criminal Justice and Families Crisis
“We must raise the expectations for our students, for our schools, and for ourselves —this must be a national priority. We must ensure that every student graduates from high school well prepared for college and a career.”- President Barack Obama
A total of 274,262 candidates participated in the exams. According to WAEC, a total of 125,065 students obtained A1 to C6 in English Language, which is 53.19%, 59,725 (25.40%) obtained D7-E8 whilst 46,595 (19.82%) had F9. For Mathematics, 77,108 (32.83%) obtained A1-C6; 65,007 (27.68%) obtained D7-E8 whilst 89,477 (38.10%) had F9. About 113,933 students obtained A1-C6 in Integrated Science which is 48.48%, 75,938 (32.32%) obtained D7-E8 whilst 42,519 (18.09%) had F9.
CLDA strongly believe with no doubt that, the over 70,000 students obtaining D7 to F9 are either having learning disabilities, attention deficits, behavior disorders with co-existing factors. The Ghana Education Service has no or little records showing the number of them receiving support services in the general classroom at the various institution.
The effect of this result on national development in the short and long term can never be overlook in the area of criminal justice, employment and families’ crisis if students obtaining D7 to F9 did not further their education or engage themselves in vocational or legal economic actives.
The Ghanaian child with learning disabilities, attention deficits and behavior disorder has suffered enough in the general classroom with no option or becomes dropout. Many students with learning disabilities are graduating successfully but the number and percentage isn’t very high.
We therefore recommend that;
1. The ministry of education must set a clear and specific guidelines which is enforceable for the provision of adequate support services to children and young adult with learning disabilities, attention deficits and behavior disorders, despite the new inclusive education policy.
2. The government should set appropriate laws to protect and support the right of children and young adult with learning disabilities, attention and behavior disorders, because the disability Act does not cover them.
3. The entry requirement to pursue Degree or Diploma in education at the nation’s two premier universities and colleges must be streamlines immediately.
4. Universities, colleges and the Ghana Education Services should:
a. Adjust their general admission requirement to accommodate students with learning disabilities
b. Develop clear support services for students with learning disabilities with effective transition planning
5. Parent and student must come our boldly to request for assessment and evaluation through the various schools and the division for Special education at the Ghana Education Service.
6. Schools must provide adequate resource room with train special education teacher and counselor to support children and young adult with learning disabilities.
As the nation continues its efforts to improve the rate at which students graduate extra attention must be paid to students who continue to graduate at significantly lower rates —such as students with learning disabilities, attention deficits and behavior disorder. Fortunately, the Ghana Education Service has no current data on the high prevalence of learning disabilities in Ghana.
As nation implement more rigorous academic standards and increase graduation requirements, attention must be given to evidence-based instructional practices and other efforts to improve the rate at which students with learning disabilities, attention deficits and behavior disorder graduate. Instead of more options and less rigor, these students need more help, particularly in their elementary and middle school years, to ensure they are able to meet the challenge of completing high school and universities successfully.
Our Voices Must be Head to Support families, Children and young adult with learning disabilities, attention deficit and behavior disorders. Their Voices and right must be respected. They cannot continue to see failure ahead of them