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‘Don’t abandon children with learning difficulties’

By Gideon Ahenkorah, GNA 

Accra,
July 16, GNA – More than 40 per cent of children with learning difficulties in
Ghana suffer parental neglect which affects their progress in life, Mr Richard
O. Opoku, Programmes Manager of the Special Attention Project (SAP) has
said. 

Mr
Opoku said a significant number of children therefore stop going to school and
migrate to the streets, where they engaged in all kind of social vices.

He
said learning difficulties in children in Ghana was mostly interpreted as
laziness and spiritual problems, which was worrying, explaining that, some of
the children only needed special attention and strategic teaching methods.    

Speaking
to the Ghana News Agency in an interview, the SAP’s Programmes Manager urged
parents to desist from abandoning their children because of their inability to
perform well academically in school, but exercise more patience and assist them
to learn better.    

“Such
children need more attention from parents and teachers. They can be helped to
learn better through patience and adequate assistance,’’ he noted.

Mr
Opoku also called on government to expedite the full implementation of the
Inclusive Education Policy and intensify vocational and technical training to
facilitate the development of the technical and vocational skills of children
who were good in those areas. 

“Most
of the children with learning difficulties have incredible vocational and
technical talents. I am urging government to create enough room for the
development of such talents for the benefit of the children and the country”,
he added.    

Mr
Opoku re-affirmed the commitment of the SAP towards developing robust education
mechanisms to meet the learning needs of children with learning difficulties to
propel the efforts of the country to reach economic growth and
development.        

The
SAP is a Ghanaian Non-Governmental Organisation that improves the lives of
children with Specific Learning Difficulties by spreading information to the
public, advocating learning support for pupils with learning difficulties in
mainstream schools. 

It
also conducts research and training on Specific Learning Difficulties and also
provides practical support to out-of-school children with learning
difficulties.   

“Our
individual education programme for out-of-school children has been designed to
also include pre-vocational lessons, sports, music and computer training,” Mr
Opoku added.   

The
Programmes Manager called on government and the public to support the project
as it was working hard to develop the gifts of Ghanaian children.

“We
have designed the FonixGH reading method to assist children with reading
problems to improve on their reading skills,” he added.    

The
FonixGH reading method establishes a reading foundation through
synthetic phonics using everyday words and common Akan words.   

The
SAP, Mr Opoku said, served more than 120 children per year at its Educational
Centre located at Kaneshie Market in Accra, adding that, the SAP’s team worked
closely with the families of the children to reintegrate them at home and in
school.        

“We
use well planned methods to identify the problems the child is facing and apply
the appropriate teaching method to assist him or her,” he added. 

The
Centre provides free facilities for bathing and washing as well as breakfast
and lunch for out-of-school children with learning difficulties who are
admitted into the programme.  

GNA

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