Promises “hard times” to persons who deter children with disabilities from accessing education
With just some few weeks to the beginning of the 2016/2017 academic year, Kumbo Council has made education of children with disabilities in the Kumbo municipality especially those with hearing impairments accessible by recruiting a sign language teacher for GBHS Kumbo.
This move by the council is good news to children with hearing impairments in Kumbo Municipality who graduated from inclusive primary schools like the CBC’s Integrated School for the Deaf (ISFD) in Mbingo and have been prevented from furthering with their secondary education because of lack of schools with a Sign Language Teacher.
According to the Mayor of Kumbo Council, Njong Donatus who spoke to the press recently in the presence of a team from the Socio Economic Empowerment of Person with Disabilities (SEEPD) Program of the CBC Health Services, the decision to recruit the Sign Language Teacher is in line with the council’s education policy which amongst other things states that “all children in the Kumbo municipality must go to school”.
Mayor Njong Donatus Foyuy
He encouraged parents of children with disabilities to make use of this opportunity and ensure no child with a disability is left behind while promising legal actions against any parent who deters a child with disability from accessing education.
Mayor Njong noted that the recruitment process involves other stakeholders like the Divisional Delegate of Employment and Vocational Training, Principle of GBHS Kumbo and the SEEPD Program Manager.
Quizzed on how the council will ensure the sustainability of the initiative, he added that the school authorities and PTA of GBHS Kumbo will be expected to plan to continue with this initiative next academic year given that over time, more sign language teachers will be required to meet the ever increasing number of learners with hearing impairment who would seek admission into the school.
Mayor Njong ended by encouraging other councils to invest in supporting education for children in general and children with disabilities and orphaned children in particular stating that “education is the best asset that can be given to the younger generation”.
It should be recalled that the Kumbo council under the leadership of Mayor Njong pioneered comprehensive support to foster the education of children with disabilities in his municipality since 2004 with the institution of the “Mayors Day”.
His drive to improve on the wellbeing of persons with disabilities in his municipality led to a partnership with the SEEPD Program of the CBC Health Services which was formalized in 2015.
Through this partnership, the council has appointed a disability focal point, developed a comprehensive action plan aimed at transforming Kumbo municipality into a citadel of inclusion.
In rolling out this action plan major strides already include the adoption of a policy on universal design, recruitment and training of Community Base Rehabilitation volunteers to provide rehabilitative care to persons with disabilities and organization of community outreaches in view of extending services to prevent and treat disabilities to the poor people of the Kumbo municipality who would otherwise not be able to access medical care.
By Njodzefe Nestor