Classrooms must be inclusive friendly to implement Inclusive Education - Lecturer
Dr. Anthony Kofi Mensah a lecturer at the University of Education, Winneba (UEW) has called for the need to ensure that that basic school classrooms are conducive friendly for learners of all abilities and background.
He said with the implementation of Inclusive Education (IE) in Ghana, which will take off in September this year, must have the classrooms convey respect for those learners with disabilities.
Dr. Mensah made the call in a presentation he delivered on the topic “Accommodation for Inclusive Education”, at a capacity building workshop for teachers, officials of the Effutu Directorate of the Ghana Education Service.
The workshop, which was attended by Community Health Students in Winneba, was organised by Campaign for Learning Disabilities (CLED) an N.G.O in collaboration with the Department of Special Education of UEW.
The workshop was a follow up of earlier information session the Department of Special Education of UEW had with selected teachers and staff of Effutu Directorate of Ghana Education Service (GES) in March this year for Prof Tiece Ruffin Associate Professor of Education, U.S Fulbright Scholar to build their background knowledge on the Universal Designed for Learning (UDL).
Fifty three out of the 59 participants made up of 29 basic and 20 Junior High Schools teachers and 10 Staff of the Municipal GES Directorate at the session stated Yes with reasons that the UDL framework was contextually appropriate for Ghana inclusive classroom and also the best way for teachers to plan for diverse learners in the classroom.
Those who said No, indicated that most classes were not conducive enough and would be much expensive to deal with all children of school going age.
They also mentioned lack of requisite technologies to facilitate the UDL, congestions of the classrooms, lack of resources for the UDL, animals trooping in whiles teaching, and other distractions from people’s homes.
He said children who learn together, learn to live together, saying, Inclusive Education had emerged as one of the most dominant issue in the education of learners with Special Educational Needs, which they needed to be provided with appropriate supplementary aid and support services.
Dr. Mensah took the participants through Accommodation in Inclusive Education in Ghana, Test, Timing/Scheduling, Setting, presentation, Response Accommodations, accommodations in teaching, instruction and learners responses.
He said accommodation in IE was a change made to the teaching or testing procedures and when fully adopted, would go a long way to provide the learners accessibility to information and create an equal opportunity to demonstrate knowledge and skills.