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Parents urged to offer a fair and friendly environment for children with special needs

Children With Disabilities
Children With Disabilities

Mrs Georgina Aberese-Ako, Acting Upper East Regional Director, Department of Children, has advised parents and major stakeholders to create equal and conducive environment for children, particularly those with special needs to develop and thrive.

She observed that often, parents with disabled children or children with special needs tend to confine them away from the public and denied them access to opportunities like all other children.

Such a practice, she underscored, was unacceptable and an infringement on the rights of those children and denying them the opportunity to unearth their immense potential.

“Mostly, we hide children with special needs in rooms thinking they are spirit children, and they should not be treated like the other children but no matter the condition, every child should be treated like human beings and those children have rights,” he said.

In an interview with the Ghana News Agency, the Acting Regional Director encouraged parents, especially those with children with special needs to enroll them in schools and give them the platform to explore the world to develop their potentials and contribute significantly to the development of society.

“The education policy says that at age four every child should be in kindergarten one and kindergarten two when the child is five years, preparing them for formal education. So let every child enjoy his or her rights no matter the condition of that child,” she stressed.

Mrs Abereseke-Ako said as part of activities to mark this year’s World Children’s Day on the theme: “For Every Child, Every Right,” the Department undertook community sensitisation in the Nabdam District as well as collaborated with the National Commission for Civic Education to educate some school children in Garu on the rights and responsibilities of a child.

Mrs Aberese-Ako explained that parents had the responsibility to ensure that they provided for the needs of their children and urged them to prioritise the welfare of their children by investing in their education.

She identified superstitions surrounding children with special needs, harmful cultural practices such as child marriage, female genital mutilation, sexual abuse, child exploitation among others as major challenges facing the development of children in the region.

She, therefore, called on stakeholders including government, non-governmental organisations, traditional authorities, and parents to view child protection as a collective responsibility and work to remove all barriers that would create an equal environment for the empowerment of all children.

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