Special Learning Materials Ltd.

Margaretha Ubels is the owner and Managing Director of Special Learning Materials Ltd. Margaretha identified the need for affordable learning games for children during her work as leader of a local NGO for the rights of children with learning difficulties. When designing programmes for children who had dropped out of school because of unrecognised learning difficulties, she found that conventional classroom teaching methods did not meet their learning needs. But searching through the market, there were no alternatives available. She began creating games and puzzles by hand, and later professionalised the production process. Margaretha has over ten years of experience in organisational leadership and serves on several non-profit boards. Her background is in facility management with additional training in education, leadership and human development. She is a Dutch national and has been living in Ghana for about twenty years.

Special Learning Materials Ltd is a Ghanaian enterprise producing supplementary learning materials for basic education. The products include games and puzzles that teach concepts in reading, mathematics and general knowledge. Children learn for example the sound patterns of phonetic words by fixing three-piece puzzles, whereby each piece contains one letter of a three-letter word. Another game teaches the decimal system; children match dotted patterns representing quantities with the corresponding numbers. They can also learn the geography of Ghana with a puzzle map in which they fix the regions in the correct positions.  The products are made of wood and Wood Plastic Composites (WPC), containing recycled plastic. They are durable and align with the Ghanaian basic school curriculum. The company initially operated on a small scale until 2017, when new investments were made. New markets were explored and the production process optimised.