The Headmaster of the Research Utilisation School For the Deaf (RUSFORD) in Obuasi, Mr Agyemang Prempeh, has appealed to parents with hearing-impaired children not to delay in sending them to school.
He said the delay in sending those children to school affected their ability to learn and also delayed their progress in life.
Aside from that, he said the school found it difficult to control the grown-up children and believed that had an effect on their education.
In an interview with the Daily Graphic, Mr Prempeh said the use of sign language to teach had a serious effect on the ability of the students to acquire more fluency in the English Language as not all the words could be intepreted through sign language.
He believed that if the children were brought to school early and introduced to the sign language and taught how to read, they would be in a position to deepen their understanding of the English Language and also improve their vocabulary.
Another challenge facing the school, he said, was the lack of sign language teachers.
That, he said, had compelled the school to merge some of the classes to enable one teacher to take care of more than one class.
According to him, when that happened, “attention is more devoted to one class than the other and this does not help the other class”.
Currently, Mr Prempeh said, the school had only seven teachers taking care of all pupils from Primary One to the JHS level and, therefore, appealed to the government for assistance to recruit more teachers to help provide basic education to the children.
He said all the teachers at the school were not on salary and shared the meals prepared by the school with the students.
According to him, the fees the school charged the pupils were not enough to pay teachers but just to feed the pupils and pay for utilities.
That was because, Mr Prempeh said, if the school was to charge commercial rates, most of the pupils would not be able to attend as their parents were poor and that would deny them of their right to education.
The Research Utilisation School For the Deaf is one of the few schools in the country devoted to providing education to the speech and hearing-impaired people in society. It is located at Ahasonyewodea in the Obuasi Municipality of the Ashanti Region.
It currently hosts 40 pupils and offers them basic education up to the JHS level, after which they are transferred to either the School of Deaf at Jamasi in the Ashanti Region or the Akropong School of the Deaf in the Eastern Region.
The Proprietor of the school, Ms Genevieve Basigha, who is deaf and dumb, started the school in 2008 together with her late husband to provide education for the deaf and dumb within the area.
Her school got nominated for the 2017 edition of the Season Three episode of the Heroes of Change and she eventually emerged the overall winner.
Through the prize, she moved from the wooden structure to a more permanent facility befitting the status of a school and to also provide a conducive environment for teaching and learning.
That notwithstanding, the school still needs assistance with teachers to produce holistic education to the children.
Currently, the school has only seven teachers who are all volunteers and not on any salary. They share the same meals provided by the school for the pupils. Some of the classrooms have to be combined to enable the teachers to attend to all the pupils.