Skip to 0 minutes and 0 secondsMy name is Nseibo Job Kofi. i come from Chenderi in the Volta region of Ghana. Three years after I was born I became paralyzed as a result of polio meningitis. Here it became a struggle with my Mom and Dad as well as my other siblings so when I go to the school going age because of my disability I remain in the house so my other siblings were sent to school, even siblings that I was much much older than were sent to school while I was still in the house. I was sometimes sent to the farm with my Dad and Mom and most times I remain in the house where meals were prepared and reserved for me.

Skip to 1 minute and 3 secondsWhen I was 9 years my father made arrangements to send me to a rehabilitation center in Kumasi or in [who] all in Ghana. My father had a second thought that I was still very young to be sent far away from him so here he decided that I should be sent to the mainstream school system, to while away time so that when I'm of age i will be sent back to the rehabilitation centre. Then I started primary class one from the same village, Chenderi, to be specific. So it became a struggle that's my father going through my terminal reports from the primary level to middle school from two.

Skip to 2 minutes and 13 secondsHe realized that I performed far far far ahead of my other siblings who are not disabled so over here my father confessed that he nearly made a mistake if he had sent me to the rehabilitation center so here he made a pledge that he will do all he could to help me in my educational career. Few months after this confession my father passed away by a snake bite so my schooling became a struggle because there was no one to actually sponsor my education.

Skip to 3 minutes and 8 secondsFortunately on my side I had the basic education through to the university level where I did my degree in accounting. I was so surprised to realize that at this higher educational level was where I had a major challenge because of the storey buildings where there are no lifts. I had to always use the staircase and at a lecture theatre there were not enough furniture. You have to carry tables and chairs from a different venue to the venue where you will have the lectures. Most times you will have this furniture ready for the lecture and you have an announcement that the venue has been changed to a different direction. Well we have no option than to carry this same furniture.

Skip to 4 minutes and 17 secondsMost of time I remained at the back of my colleagues and picked their lecture notes after the lecture was over just to rewrite my own lecture notes. Shortly after this God be so great on my side I went through and had an opportunity to do Master's and disability and rehabilitation and development from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. After two years study I was sent back to this rehabilitation centre by Ghana education service Kumasi. Over here I realized that children with disabilities who could also take part in the mainstream schooling were all brought here.

Skip to 5 minutes and 26 secondsSome were wheelchair-bound, others were using calipers some were using white cane and to my surprise I realized that one particular [?skill] was learnt repeatedly for over 10 15 and 20 years. What it did was learning, shoemaking, how to polish shoes, how to weave baskets and how to do doormat, and this handicrafts were repeatedly done all over the years. So it was here I had a reflection and said to myself that if I had been brought here at initial stages I wouldn't have known what I will have been by now. I therefore standby mainstream education or inclusive education system that it is the best for children with disabilities especially my colleagues who are in the rehabilitation centers in Ghana

Job's story

Here is a story of one person’s journey through education in Ghana - from school to university. With very little support, Job succeeded in reaching his personal goals, overcoming barriers in his environment.

When listening to Job’s story, do you think there were any adaptations made at school? He describes university as being worse than school. Why do you think this was the case and how do you think this situation could be avoided?

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This video is from the free online course:

Education for All: Disability, Diversity and Inclusion

University of Cape Town