Education  Ghana Project #23992

Children with Learning Difficulties in Ghana

by Special Attention Project (SAP)
Children with Learning Difficulties in Ghana
Children with Learning Difficulties in Ghana
Children with Learning Difficulties in Ghana
Children with Learning Difficulties in Ghana
Children with Learning Difficulties in Ghana
Children with Learning Difficulties in Ghana
Children with Learning Difficulties in Ghana
Children with Learning Difficulties in Ghana
Children with Learning Difficulties in Ghana
Children with Learning Difficulties in Ghana
Children with Learning Difficulties in Ghana
Children with Learning Difficulties in Ghana
Children with Learning Difficulties in Ghana
Children with Learning Difficulties in Ghana
Children with Learning Difficulties in Ghana
Children with Learning Difficulties in Ghana
Children with Learning Difficulties in Ghana
Children with Learning Difficulties in Ghana
Children with Learning Difficulties in Ghana
Children with Learning Difficulties in Ghana
Children with Learning Difficulties in Ghana
Children with Learning Difficulties in Ghana
Children with Learning Difficulties in Ghana
Children with Learning Difficulties in Ghana

Parents who benefited from SAP’s face-to-face sensitisation programme on learning difficulties and inclusive education have expressed their excitement about the new knowledge acquired.

In February 2020, SAP sensitised hundreds of parents during their Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) meetings. The parents learned how to:

  • Recognise signs of learning difficulties in children;
  • Support children with learning difficulties to learn better; and
  • Work effectively with school authorities and teachers to promote their children’s educational rights.

At the PTA meeting of the Eden Montessori Learning Centre, Akuapim Mampong, George stated: 

“I consider this education on learning difficulties very relevant because as parents, it is very important that we know the learning strengths and weaknesses of our children to enable us support them.

"I recommend that you [SAP] come here again to share more information on these learning difficulties,” George added. 

Hannah, also a parent at the Eden Montessori Learning Centre, Akuapim Mampong shared:
“Listening to the presentation, I lot was going through my mind. I was just imagining the number of children who are going through abuse and punishment because they find it difficult to learn. I wish this information [on learning difficulties] will reach every parent."

At the PTA of the Idun Kathir Islamic School at Awoshie, Accra, Hajia indicated:
“The part I like about your [SAP] presentation is the successful people who had learning difficulties, but were able to make it in life.

"This means that if we are able to know the learning difficulties of our children and support them, they will be able to pursue their education and achieve their career goals.”

SAP remains resolute to educating more parents and community members on learning difficulties and inclusive education. We however, cannot achieve this without generous support and contributions from donors.

We call on you to join our campaign to help improve the lives of children with learning difficulties in Ghana. 

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Special Attention Project (SAP) remains committed to spreading information on learning difficulties to help improve learner outcomes and prevent school dropout of children with learning difficulties, as well as promote inclusive education in mainstream schools.

In recognition of SAP’s dedicated services and extensive work in the area of Dyslexia identification and support in Ghana, the organisation’s Project Director, Mr. Richard O. Opoku was invited as a panelist at the First Annual Africa Dyslexia Dialogue, held at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Lagos, Nigeria.

The dialogue was organised by Dyslexia Nigeria under the theme: "Unmasking Dyslexia,” and it was aimed at raising awareness about Dyslexia and calling on national governments to prioritise the implementation of inclusive education.

Speaking at the event, Mr. Opoku said children with Dyslexia faced multiple forms of educational barriers which hinder them from reaching acceptable levels of educational attainment.

“Despite the introduction of a comprehensive Inclusive Education Policy in Ghana, there is still absence of inclusive systems in mainstream education. Many children with Special Educational Needs, like Dyslexia are compelled to drop out of school and migrate to the streets.

"Those who remain in school learn nothing, and fail to acquire basic literacy and numeracy skills,” Mr. Opoku lamented.

He called on governments to put a premium on the implementation of inclusive education, indicating “with inclusive education, the education system can apply innovative learning solutions, including seeking alternative ways that do not require reading and writing to assess children with learning differences like Dyslexia”.

With as many as 36 million Dyslexic Nigerians, Dr. Adrienne Tikolo, Director of Dyslexia Nigeria said it was important that Nigerians discuss how to educate Dyslexics to live more fulfilled lives.

Dr. Tikolo expressed sincere appreciation to SAP’s Project Director saying, 
“your contribution on Dyslexia was one of the most interesting talks at the dialogue. We believe the knowledge you have shared will help immensely in the development of the education sector and better translate to programmes that will help Dyslexics.”

 

As we end 2019, the children, Board of Directors and staff of SAP would like to acknowledge the unremitting support of our cherished donors who contributed immensely to our successes in 2019.

 

We continue to count on the partnerships of donors in 2020 to help scale up impact for children with learning difficulties, by improving learner outcomes and preventing school dropout, as well as intensify advocacy for the educational rights of children with learning difficulties.

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The 2019 edition of SAP’s long vacation classes has been organised with 30 pupils benefiting from the classes.

The six-week classes offered pupils, mostly children with learning problems the opportunity to be assessed for their learning difficulties.

The pupils received individualised learning support to help them learn better and adequately prepare them for the next academic year beginning September 2019.

SAP’s vacation classes focused on developing pupils’ competencies in literacy, numeracy and ICT. Emphasis was placed on phonics in helping pupils to develop reading skills using the FonixGH reading methodology developed by SAP.

The classes also used multisensory approach to teaching and learning and utilised each pupil’s preferred learning style especially in the study of mathematics and ICT.

 Both pupils and parents have been sharing their feedback on the classes:

Benjamin (Class 5): “I like the way they teach me at the vacation classes because they have more time for me. At first, I couldn't spell but now I can spell and read.”

Manley (Class 6): “The vacation classes have helped me to know how to do long division and write essays. The teachers at the vacation classes have more time for me than at my school. I will like to come back again.”

Cyrus (JHS 1): “The vacation classes have been very helpful to me. Previously I couldn’t read or spell but now I can read and spell as well. I prefer the teaching here than at my school because the teachers have more time for me here and teach me to understand. I would like to come back again.”

Evelyn (parent): “Since my son started coming to the classes, at least he can now differentiate between some letters and write them. It is a small improvement but it is better than before.”

Godknows (parent): “I have seen a remarkable improvement in my sons’ performance. I wish they had started this classes earlier.”

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Many parents become desperate when their children cannot learn like that of their peers. Some of them resort to bizarre approaches, including sending their children to prayer camps for ‘healing’ and learning solution.

To erase the negative perception and help parents understand and recognise learning difficulties to help their children at home, SAP has stepped up its information sharing on learning difficulties.

Through our face-to-face interactions with parents and caregivers during PTA, religious group meetings, SAP is changing parents’ perception about learning difficulties.

“I have a son who struggles to learn. I taught my son was lazy and just didn’t want to learn. But I now understand my son’s learning problem. I know how I can help him to learn now and also work closely with his teachers,” a mother said at the PTA meeting of the Labone SDA Primary and JHS, where about 550 parents were sensitised on learning difficulties.

“This education on learning difficulties is very relevant. I have learned a lot about the challenges children with learning difficulties go through and how they learn as well. I think you (SAP) need to contact the Presbyterian Church of Ghana to educate members in every church,” an executive member stated when SAP met 85 executives of the Young People’s Guild at the Emmanuel Presbyterian Church at Dansoman.

At the Nungua SDA Primary/JHS, about 160 parents were sensitised. “This is my first time of hearing about Dyslexia. I think SAP has to do more education so that more parents can learn about these learning difficulties and know how to support their children,” a parent said during the PTA meeting of the school.

“I used to have a colleague at the primary school who couldn’t understand anything. We all taught he was lazy and dumb. If it were today, I would have known how to help him because of this education on learning difficulties,” a member revealed when SAP met the Rotary Club of Accra Weija and Westlands. Twenty one members were present.

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Pascal used to write from right to left
Pascal used to write from right to left

“I used to attend Aburi Methodist Primary School but I had difficulty understanding anything in class. I couldn’t read and write and do basic maths. My teachers always told me I was lazy and not intelligent, so I was not happy in school.”

Twelve-year-old Pascal recounts his unpleasant experiences from school while trying to achieve basic literacy and numeracy skills, and live his educational dream.

At 12 years, Pascal couldn’t write the English alphabet correctly. For the first time he came into contact with Special Attention Project (SAP), he wrote the English alphabet backwards from right to left when he was asked to write on a slate.

“Because of my learning difficulties, my mum brought me from Aburi to Accra to be more or less an errand boy to a relative,” Pascal recounted.

SAP’s assessment indicated that Pascal showed signs of Dyslexia, which is learning difficulties in reading and writing.

Following this finding, SAP decided to contact Pascal’s parents to find help for him to learn by providing him with individualized intervention plan that meets his learning needs.

Pascal has been reintegrated in the mainstream school, and at there, receives extra learning support to learn. SAP is empowering Pascal’s parents on learning difficulties and inclusive education so that they can help their child to learn at home.

SAP is also building the capacity of Pascal’s teachers so that they can develop inclusive interventions to teach Pascal and make their classroom more inclusive.

“Since SAP started working with my teachers to help me learn, I can now read and write basic English. I can identify the various English alphabets and do basic maths,” Pascal revealed.

SAP remains committed to working to improve the learner outcomes of children with learning difficulties such as Dyslexia (difficulty with reading and writing); Dyscalculia (difficulty with numbers); Dyspraxia (difficulty with movement and coordination); and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

The organisation however, cannot achieve this objective without the support and partnership of our sponsors. Become one of SAP's sponsors to create change in the lives of children with learing difficuties like Pascal.

Pascal learning with his colleagues
Pascal learning with his colleagues

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Organization Information

Special Attention Project (SAP)

Location: Accra North - Ghana
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @SAPGhana
Project Leader:
Margaretha Ubels
Accra North, Accra North Ghana
$1,765 raised of $50,000 goal
 
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