The Australian High Commission in Ghana has commended Kekeli Foundation, a non- governmental organisation in Ho, for its immense support to children with developmental disabilities.
The Commission said it was pleased with the progress of work by the Foundation’s Resource and Assessment Centre in improving services for children and adults with disabilities in the Region.
Ms Harriet Williams, Second Secretary, Australian High Commission, gave the commendation on behalf of the High Commissioner at the commissioning of the Foundation’s Early Childhood Intervention Centre in Ho.
The Centre is the first phase of the Foundation’s all-inclusive school and is linked to its Resource and Assessment Centre, which currently assesses children and provides support to other schools in the Ho Municipality.
The Second Secretary said the Commission was happy in supporting the Foundation to put up the facility, describing the commissioning of the edifice as welcome news as educational facilities for children with disabilities were inadequate.
She said the Centre would help reduce barriers to inclusive education for children and bring comfort, motivation and confidence to children with disabilities and learning difficulties as well as to their families and communities, and to help them to excel in education alongside their peers.
“As a keen believer and promoter of inclusive development, the Australian High Commission makes it a priority under our Direct Aid Program to support education and improve opportunities for disadvantaged children in Ghana and elsewhere, including children with disabilities,” she said.
“We at the High Commission believe that given favourable systems, support and improved services, people with disabilities can make enormous contributions to society and to Ghana’s development,” she added.
Madam Carrie Colleen Brown, Founder of the Kekeli Foundation, in a speech read on her behalf said children with disabilities were often segregated in special schools and unable to attend school with their non-disabled peers, and those admitted in mainstream did not receive the support they needed.
She said the Foundation, in collaboration with the Commission, Rotary Clubs of Ho, Norwich, (UK), France, Novi Sad and Germany had decided to come together to provide an all-Inclusive Model Basic School to redefine education to meet the needs of all learners within the framework of the Universal Design for Learning and Child Friendly School Concept.
The Founder said their goal was to improve quality education system by making it inclusive for all children, noting that the Centre would prepare children with disabilities in academic areas specific to their disabilities such as braille or sign language.
Madam Brown said the children would also be prepared for independent life through activities that focused on daily living skills, disclosing that admission process would begin in September, this year while classes would be in full session by January 2023.
The project, she said when fully completed would have all the necessary facilities to enable both children with and those without a disability to access everything they needed to have smooth education, including specialist staff as well as general staff to teach them.
Madam Enyonam Afi Amafuga, Volta Regional Director of Education, also commended the Founder and Management of the Foundation for the initiative.
She stated that a truly inclusive learning environment valued the contribution and potential of persons with disabilities, and equipped them with essential life, language and social skills.
The programme was held on the theme: “Ensuring Inclusive and Equitable Quality Education and Promoting Lifelong Learning Opportunities for All.”