Children  Ghana Project #23992

Children with Learning Difficulties in Ghana

by Special Attention Project (SAP) Vetted since 2009 Site Visit Verified
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

 

About 40 school children participated in SAP’s special vacation classes for children with learning difficulties this year. The classes aim to provide remedial education to children who struggle to learn in school. In Ghana, many basic schools are not inclusive for children with learning difficulties.

The children, who came from different private and public schools, were first assessed for their learning problems.Individualised Education Plans were then developed for each child to align teaching with the learning needs of the child to enable him/her learn better.

The classes lasted for about five week, and though not all children could attend the whole period (some went to visit relatives in other parts of the country), most children made good progress and build their confidence to learn.

Some of the children have been sharing their views on the classes:

Benjamin, 10: “I don’t get the attention I need to learn in school. When I attended these classes, teachers here take their time to teach and explain things to me.I can now pronounce words I didn’t know, spell and read sentences. I can also write sentences myself using the words I have learnt like can, for, me, my, map, where.”

Kareen, 12:
“In my school, teachers are always in a rush to finish explanation of a topic and move on to the next topic. Teachers in SAP’s vacation classes explain the concept until you understand. They teach with patience and will use different languages to make sure that I understand what they are teaching me.” 

Albert, 7: “I find it difficult to understand what I’m taught in school because everything is written on the board. But I like the way teachers at SAP teach me. Every assignment is written and done in the book, and this makes it easy for me to follow. The teachers give me attention and make sure that I understand everything I learn before they teach me another thing.”

Special Attention Project (SAP) works for children like Benjamin, Kareen and Albert. Because they are not receiving the needed attention in school, they are at risk of dropping out and resorting to the streets. With your support, SAP can build the capacity of their teachers and families to give them the help they need, and to complete their education.

Interviewing a Parent
Interviewing a Parent

Access to adequate and quality information on learning difficulties serves as a critical tool for empowering parents of children with learning difficulties to understand their children's learning problems and fully support their education. 

Many parents of children with learning difficulties however, lack information and knowledge about their children's learning problems. These parents feel confused and disturbed when they realise that their children cannot perform well and learn like their mates in school. SAP is bridging this information gap.

We are mapping the information needs of parents and caregivers of children with learning difficulties. This is being done through individual interviews.
"I'm willing to get training and more information on learning difficulties so that I can help my child,"
one parent said during an interview. 

The assessment of parents' information needs will help SAP to:
- Know the parents' level of knowledge and understanding of their children's learning difficulties;
- Know the support parents currently can provide to their children to be able to learn, and the capacity they need to do more;
- Customise information and align training programmes that will meet the learning needs of parents' children; and 
- Know the preferred  information delivery mechanisms (face-to-face education, written materials or audiovisual materials) of parents, as well as the preferred language. 

Links:

Teacher training in session
Teacher training in session

 

SAP works with schools, teachers and parents of children with learning difficulties to help improve the learning outcomes of the children. SAP’s activities centre a lot on educating the environment of the child about the child’s learning problems. Learning difficulties are in Ghana often interpreted as spiritual issues or intentional behaviour by the child.

Though it is the official policy that all schools in Ghana should be inclusive, in practice many schools do not have the capacity to respond to the varied special educational needs of children. As a result, children with different needs are either kept out of school, or they drop out after a few years.

Beacon International School in Peduase is one of the schools SAP is working with to build the capacities of teachers on learning difficulties. The twebnty teachers from the basic school are being equipped on inclusiveness and learn teaching strategies they can use to teach children with learning difficulties learn better.

The training which is being organised in series covers a wide range of topics such as recognising signs of Specific Learning Difficulties in Children; Inclusive Education Policy; and Mapping of Needs.

Others are Basic Classroom Interventions; Planning of Interventions; Development of Intervention Plans and Implementation of Interventions.

The school leadership and the teachers respond positively to the training. Teachers actively discuss about children in their classrooms and how they can help them.

Beating the drums
Beating the drums

 

More Inclusiveness in 2018!

That is what SAP's planning for the year expresses. We aim to reach more children, educate more parents about learning problems and engage further with the government about implementing Inclusive Education in basic schools in Ghana.

Looking back at 2017 is looking back on a good year. The children in our support programme for out-of-school children agree. Many have improved their learning skills and they enjoyed the activities.  They are grateful for your support:

"God bless all the people who contributed their time and other resources to help cater for the needs of the SAP Children's Programme. I pray they get in abundance to assist SAP in the year 2018. Afehyiapa (Merry Christmas)!" - John. 


Benedict says: "Thanks to all who supported the SAP programme in 2017. We appreciate all the donations you made. May God bless you all and have it in abundance."

Hawal:"Thanks to all who supported in the success of the SAP programme. God bless you".

In 2017, over 100 children (89 boys and 14 girls) participated in the Children's programme. Another 50 were helped to learn during our special vacation classes during the holidays. We reached 1,756 parents with information sessions on learning difficulties, and trained over 30 teachers on identification of learning problems in children.

Assessment at start of Classes
Assessment at start of Classes

 

SAP initiated special vacation classes for children with learning difficulties this academic year with over 50 children benefiting from the classes.

The vacation classes form an integral part of SAP's school-level interventions to help struggling children learn better.

Through SAP's sensitisation sessions on leaning difficulties with parents during PTA meetings, children identified as showing signs of learning difficulties are enrolled in the classes.

"What makes this vacation classes special is that we are using an Individualised Education Plan to teach the children, most of who have learning problems in reading.

"The classes are therefore, tailored toward the specific learning needs of the children to help improve their areas of learning difficulties," Monica, a teacher at SAP explained.

Another teacher, Moses, said: "We have grouped the children into smaller groups and each child receives special attention from a teacher based on his or her learning need. The classes are also special because they are creating the opportunity for children from various schools to  fraternise."

Some children have been sharing their experiences about the vacation classes so far:

Gifty (Age 10, Class 4):
"The good thing is that when I attended the classes, the teachers asked me a lot of questions about my learning. They also made me to do an exercise to find out which subject I couldn't do well. And since then, the teachers have been paying attention to me to be able to learn better."

Thomas (Age 9, Class 3):
"This classes is different. I like the way the teachers teach. They sit with me and make sure that I understand whatever I'm being taught. I really like the classes."

Leticia (Age 11, Class 5):
"The teachers are patient and when I don't understand anything, they assist and encourage me to learn more."

Some parents have also been sharing the impact the classes are having on their children:

Mr. Peter (parent):
"I have three children in the vacation classes and my third son ( class 1) who normally didn't like speaking English now speaks English at home. I see him learning on his own by reciting letter sounds he has been taught at the vacation classes."
 
Madam Esther (parent):
My daughter couldn't read well but when she joined the classes, she is beginning to read. I made her to read to me all that she has learnt at the vacation classes and she was able to read."

Reading practice in local language
Reading practice in local language
Session in progress
Session in progress

Links:

 

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Organization Information

Special Attention Project (SAP)

Location: Accra North - Ghana
Website: http:/​/​www.sapghana.com
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @SAPGhana
Project Leader:
Margaretha Ubels
Accra North, Accra North Ghana
Have a concern about Special Attention Project (SAP)? Contact GlobalGiving.
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