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
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

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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.

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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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Learning practical skills at SAP
Learning practical skills at SAP

SAP's educational centre for out-of-school children is open every weekday all year round. The timetable for the children is structured and predictable, because many children have difficulties in time-orientation and easily loose track of what they are supposed to do. Within the timetable there is however variety. For example: every day there is a pre-vocational lesson at the same time, but the lessons vary. Through this, children take part in many different activities that all help them to improve their self-help skills and build their academic and practical competences.

Children tell us what they learn at SAP and what they appreciate about the programme:

Jennifer (12): "I really enjoy the beadmaking lessons and the cookery lessons. I wasn't good in  basic cooking activities but now I am able to cook. I also like the number boards".

Akorley (14): "I enjoy the practical lessons very much especially the music and dance, cookery and batik lessons. I also like computer lessons because I have learnt how to boot a computer and how to use the mouse".

Isaac (13): "I like the classroom especially the FonixGH book which has helped me in knowing the sounds and now I can read. This makes me come to SAP everyday".

Enock (13): “SAP is really helping me. I enjoy the batik lessons and class activities. I didn’t like maths, but now I’m doing well. I now understand angles, long division and counting. The puzzle we play with also helps me a lot. Thank you to SAP.”

Robert (12): “At first, I couldn't wash dishes, clothes and bath without help. When I came to SAP, I have learnt how to brush, bath and wash all alone. I enjoy the way teachers at SAP teach. I really understand when they teach. I also like the computer classes at SAP. God Bless SAP.”

With your help we can continue to help children like Jennifer, Akorley, Isaac, Enock and Robert!

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Two boys participating in SAP's programme
Two boys participating in SAP's programme

Some children in SAP's programme believe that if their families had assisted them while in school, they wouldn't have ended up in the street. They share their family experience:

Derrick (13) "I can't remember the last time I did my homework. My mother and father were not ready to assist me. Therefore, I always went back to school without doing my homework and my teachers were never happy with me. I lost interest in going to school since I didn't understand what I was taught. I therefore, stopped going to school and started visiting a game centre close to my house and returned home late to sleep. The game centre became my regular place of visit. I always enjoyed being there because there were other children I could play with."

Kelvin (14)"My mother ignored me when I asked her to help me with my homework. I always failed to do my homework because I didn't understand the work in class and there was no one to assist me at home too. I usually sent my homework back to school undone and my teachers punished me. I felt I shouldn't go to school again. I then stopped school and moved to the street.

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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
$1,717 raised of $50,000 goal
 
84 donations
$48,283 to go
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