Africa Apr 8, 2017
ACCRA: The campaign for education of children with disabilities has taken off with more than 16 schools in Ghana expected to join the global crusade seeking to create awareness about children with disabilities’s inability to access education.
The move is to draw attention of the global community on the right to education of children with disabilities who are not able or allowed to go to school.
More than 25,000 primary school pupils in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America participated in the annual international ‘We Ring The Bell’ campaign on March 22.
“There are currently more than 30 per cent children with disabilities who do not go to school in Ghana,” The Executive Director of SWEB Foundation, Mr David N. Botwey said.
More than 16 schools in Ghana joined the campaign on Wednesday on the theme: “Ensure all children with any form of disability have access to appropriate education program.”
As part of this worldwide campaign, Mr Botwey said, primary school pupils all over the world made as much noise as possible for one minute in the schoolyards, using bells, drums etc to attract the attention of policy makers and others whose duty is to eliminate barriers that prevent children with disabilities from going to school.
About 560 schools and 100,000 children in The Netherlands, and more than 365 schools and 25,000 children in 23 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America participated in the campaign.
“We Ring The Bell’ is an initiative by the Dutch Liliane Fund, which collaborates with SWEB Foundation in Ghana,” Mr Botwey said.
SWEB Foundation, with this organisations, supports children with disabilities in education and other sectors of the economy.
“But much more needs to be done in our country and throughout the world,” he said.
“Schools need to become better reachable and more accessible (literally and figuratively) for children with disabilities.
“Teachers and teaching materials must meet the needs of these children. “Everyone should become aware of the fact that education is a fundamental right, also of children with disabilities.”
The Liliane Fund published a report in March, which was based on most recent and relevant scientific studies on the theme.
In 2015, the United Nations set a number of Sustainable Development Goals.
These are the world goals that replaced the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2016.
In these new goals the focus is on those who have not benefited from the MDGs, particularly children and adults with disabilities.
Their situation has improved only slightly since 2000. Worldwide, more and more children go to school (89 per cent), but this is not the case for children with disabilities.
In the low- and middle-income countries, hardly 10 per cent of the children with disabilities go to school.
He said: “Also in our country, the participation of these children in education is rather low.”
“It is high time to change this situation, and the louder the call sounds all over the world, the better it will be heard.”