Children  Ghana Project #23992

Children with Learning Difficulties in Ghana

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

Joshua in class
Joshua in class

Joshua dropped out of school in class 3 but was later readmitted to class 1 because he couldn't read, write nor spell his name. He dropped out again apparently due to his learning problems and migrated to the street to avoid being forced to go back to school. Prior to being admitted to SAP's Children Programme a month ago, he couldn't also count or write numbers from 1-100 and also solve basic mathematics.

Through SAP's Individualised Education Plan based on Joshua's learning needs, he's learning to read and count at age 11. With the help of FonixGH Activity Book, Joshua can now identify letter sounds and blend letters to read words in sentences. He can also count and write numbers from 1-20 correctly, and he's delighted with this progress.  

"I'm very happy that I'm learning to read and count now. I'm very grateful to SAP," Joshua said.

Links:

Parents learn more about learning difficulties
Parents learn more about learning difficulties

The early months of 2017 have been eventful at Special Attention Project.

Our Behaviour Change Communication programme kick started on a good note with a series of information sessions on learning difficulties. We have organised five sessions for parents during their Parents and Teachers Association (PTA) meetings in basic schools in Accra. They included public school as well as private schools.

Parents often do not understand why their children do not perform well in school. They think the child is intentionally 'lazy' or believe that there is a spiritual problem. Many children with learning difficulties are punished if they cannot keep up with school work, or they are taken for spiritual healing. If there is no improvement, families become desperate and the child is at high risk of dropping out of school and running away from home.

During the PTA sessions, parents were sensitised on the types and causes of learning difficulties, as well as help they can provide for children with learning difficulties. Some parents expressed their frustration wth their children, while others were grateful for the information.
"This education programme on learning difficulties is so important. It will enable us to help children with learning difficulties. We need to invite you (SAP) again to share more information on learning difficulties with us," a parent at one of the schools emphasised.

More than thirty (30) parents have signed up to receive further advice and guidance from SAP on the learning difficulties of theiir children.

 

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Organization Information

Special Attention Project (SAP)

Location: Accra North - Ghana
Website: http:/​/​www.sapghana.com
Project Leader:
Margaretha Ubels
Accra North, Accra North Ghana
$683 raised of $50,000 goal
 
33 donations
$49,317 to go
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