Analysis of barriers to children with mobility impairment in basic education in Accra Metropolis

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Despite the provisions made in the 1992 Constitution on the rights of disabled persons and the passage of the Persons with Disability Act 715 by the Parliament of Ghana in 2006, little has been done to enhance access to basic education for people with disabilities. The expectation was that, existing basic educational facilities would be retrofitted and made physically accessible to the disabled in order to create equal opportunities for pupils living with disabilities. This research uses descriptive-exploratory design to investigate the level of accessibility of the educational facilities at the basic schools in Accra. Surveys were conducted with relevant institutions with the use of interview guides. In all thirty -three pupils in twenty-two schools were surveyed and ten disabled drop-out children were surveyed as well. Fifty facilities within ten schools, one from each sub-metro were later audited using international standards, building codes, regulations and guidelines as benchmarks for assessments. The research revealed that despite the progress made with the help of philanthropist organisations and Parent Teacher‟s Association (PTA), most basic schools pupils with mobility impairment still encountered barriers such as discrimination, steps, narrow doorways and desk space, lack of seats for wheelchair users, lack of space for manoeuvring, open gutters and slippery floors. The audit showed that ramps constructed in many schools did not meet the minimum international standards. These findings point to the need for an extensive civic education for the general public on disability issues and funding to retrofit public buildings. Also, it is recommended that at least one entrance per facility should be accessible to PWDs by school authorities in Accra. The Ministry of Education should revise the teacher training materials to reflect inclusive education methods and adequate information on children with disabilities. The government should increase expenditure and budget allocation on inclusive education in Accra.
A thesis submitted to the School of Graduate Studies Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Development Planning and Management