The Ministry of Education will from next academic year integrate hearing-impaired students into the conventional senior high school system, piloting with one school, the sector Minister, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, has said.
This follows the minister's observation at the Takoradi Technical University (TTU) where there is the combination of both hearing and hearing-impaired students with the help of a sign language interpreter.
At the launch of the five-year strategic plan and endowment fund of the university, Dr Adutwum commended the institution for its works in the disability community by offering admission to those with hearing impairment and giving them the opportunity they would not have had.
Disability support initiative
TTU has become a pioneer in technical university education and training for persons with disability. The university continues to provide an academic setting where students with disability are suitably supported so that they could accomplish their full potential and make career choices for themselves.
Currently, TTU has 74 students with disabilities at the university as it strives to ensure that no student is deprived of his/her inclusion and participation in any aspect of university life as a result of a disability.
One public school
Dr Adutwum said: “TTU’s innovation of integration of hearing impaired is throwing a challenge to the country and “we are taking a lesson from you. Having seen what you have managed to do, I ask myself, if TTU can do this, why can't we have one public high school where we will fully integrate those who are hard on hearing?”
That, Dr Adutwum said, would ensure that young people or students with those challenges could also access science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and help them pursue their dream.
“If the visually impaired have such schools that are fully integrated, why can’t we do the same for the hearing impaired?” he said, saying that from next academic year, “at least one high school would begin and ... we will have people to translate for them”.
With such an arrangement, the education minister said, the hearing impaired would have the same opportunity to access the content and they too could get the Ghanaian promise, “a promise that says if you want to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the state, you will succeed.”
Dr Adutwum urged the management of TTU to stay focused and ensure that at the end of the five-year strategic plan, they would have the highest employability among the community of technical universities in the country.
The Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Rev. John Frank Eshun, said the strategic plan sought to provide clear objectives and direction for the university, identify and focus on viable and realistic strategies and activities.
“Through the strategic plan, we seek to promote optimum utilisation of available resources and maximum realisation of stated goals and objectives for efficiency.”
The strategic plan, he said, would also ensure the responsiveness to environmental forces — demands and expectations and create opportunities for growth, expansion and sustainability.