By Emmanuel Ikhenebome
Benin city — A Non-governmental organization under the aegis of Network for Advancement of Persons With Visible Disabilities (NAPVID), alongside other critical stakeholders have come up with a blueprint to guide inclusive educational system in Edo state.
The stakeholders at a 1-day meeting held on Thursday at the Bishop Kelly Pastoral centre in Benin city ratified a 10-Year disability-centered document that was developed at a 3-Day workshop held recently from 10th – 12th of May at the Chief John Odigie-Oyegun Staff training center in the state capital.
The workshop, put together by NAPVID and Edo state government was to chart a strategic roadmap for the education of every child irrespective of their disability and location anywhere in the state.
Welcoming participants to Thursday’s event, executive director of NAPVID, Barr Melody Omosah stressed that various laws and policies of government recognize education as a right, hence it is compulsory for every child especially at their basic stage in life.
According to him, NAPVID took up the responsibility to assist the state government to have a policy document on inclusive education, adding governor Godwin Obaseki is keen to invest in the education of people with disabilities.
“In our engagement, he (Obaseki) has repeatedly said that the government is ready to invest in the education of persons with disabilities; so if we have a governor who has the political will, what we then need to do is to show him how to go about that investment;
“and that made us bring stakeholders from all background that have a role to play in the education of children to bring our thoughts and ideas together, synergize and send to the governor that this is what we think government must do if education will be possible for every child”, Omosah remarked
Omosah who lamented the lack of special schools across the 18 local government areas harp on Article 4 of United Nations Sustainable Development Goals which task state to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education as well as promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
Other speakers include Professor Fakolade Aremu of the University of Ibadan, who introduced the draft policy document code-named DIESTRES, acronym for Disability Inclusive Education Strategic Roadmap for Edo State.
Highpoint of the meeting was brainstorming discussions and the validation of the policy document by stakeholders which include Ministry of education, Ministry of Budget and planning, State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), among others.