Mr Speaker, the Inclusive Education Policy (IEP) which was launched in May, 2016 is a framework that provides a more harmonised and strategic approach to planning, implementing and monitoring inclusive education pro- grammes and activities.
The policy also defines the strategic path to direct education of all children,
especially with special educational needs in schools at all levels.
In addition, a document on standards and guidelines which provides guidance to educational institutions and stake- holders in the provision of minimum standards and designs of facilities to promote inclusive education in terms of physical infrastructure, learning equip- ment and materials as well as curriculum and pedagogy and costed Imple- mentation Plan have also been developed.
These documents are to direct and promote the smooth implementation of the inclusive education programmes in schools across the country.
Mr Speaker, the implementation of Inclusive Education Policy has already started with the following activities as enshrined in the Implementation Plan:
Printing and distribution of 37,700 copies of the Policy Documents and the Standards and Guidelines to schools, colleges, universities, government agencies and Non Governmental Organisations.
Printing and distribution of 14,400 copies of the Implementation Plan to schools, colleges, universities, government agencies and Non- Governmental Organisations.
The National Steering Committee has been formed to oversee the rolling out of the Inclusive Education Policy (IEP).
An inset module on Inclusive Education Policy (IEP) has also been developed with help from UNICEF to be used to train in- service teachers on the concept and practice of inclusive education. The
module is currently at the printing press.
The Special Education Division (SPED) has also developed guidelines for the operation and management of Regional Assessment Centres to serve as control measures in the management of the Centres.
The Ghana Education Service, with the support of UNICEF procured some basic screening equipment and assistive devices. These equipment and devices were subsequently distributed to all the 10 Regional Assessment Centres for onward distribution to needy children.
UNICEF has provided financial, logistical and technical support on the implementation of the concept and practice of Inclusive Education Policy (IEP) to the following districts;
Lambussie Karni, Wa East, Wa West, Builsa North, Builsa South, Garu Tempane, Savelugu, Karaga, Kpandai, Komenda, Edina Eguafo Abirem, Upper Denkyira West, Upper Manya Krobo, Kwahu Afram Plains North and South, Tolon, Upper West Akim, North Dayi, Krachi East, Ga East and Asikuma Odoben Brakwa.
This UNICEF support had led to capacity building of teachers and school administrators in all the basic schools in those focused districts on the Inclusive Education Policy, Standards and Guidelines, the Implementation Plan, screening processes, the use of Inclusive Education Monitoring Tool (IEMT) and data collection and analysis to build their capacity to manage,
monitor and evaluate inclusive education activities in their schools.
Screening has been conducted for about 134,837 pupils, made up of 68,689 boys and 66,148 girls, out of which 24,702 pupils, made up of 12,728 boys and 11,974 girls have been referred for further diagnosis and appropriate interventions.
Furthermore, over 8,000 key stakeholders from all the ten regions have also been sensitised on inclusive education concepts, practices and attitudinal change. These include traditional authorities, Parliamen-tarians through the Parliamentary Select Committee on Education, private educational providers and labour unions within the pre-tertiary educational sector, et cetera.
Regular monitoring and evaluation of the progress of implementation in all the 20 focused districts as well as monitoring and screening activities have been on-going.
Mr Speaker, the sector is committed to ensuring that the Inclusive Education Policy is achieved nation-wide and the plans will be focusing on expanding the implementation from the current 20 districts to the entire 254 Metropolitan, Municipal and Districts Assemblies. This calls for massive financial support from all stakeholders.