By Ijeoma Thomas-Odia
With a significant number of the country’s population living with disability and require special support especially young children, stakeholders and parents seek improvement in the learning environment and facilities available for these children.
They have lamented the unavailability of instructors to teach special needs children basic vocational skills. This will further improve the state of wellbeing of these special needs schools across the state.
This as the thrust at a review meeting with parents of children with special needs, organized by the Kudirat Initiative for Democracy (KIND) in partnership with VOICE initiative, a global non-governmental organisation.
According to the coordinator for VOICE in Nigeria, Ijeoma Okwor, “when we started this project we found out that Lagos state has the most number of inclusive schools, but after visiting we noticed efforts have been made but not really inclusive. The grant given to KIND was to push for it to be truly inclusive, and obviously they bought equipments for these children to learn but there is no instructor.”
Okwor added that schools, government, families, churches and communities respect diversity, “when we are inclusive, respect diversity, that is when we maximize what we have. If people have the opportunity to develop their potentials then Nigeria will gain more, steps have been taken and we hope these steps will manifest.”
For head of special education unit, State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Hilda Twins, we have been able to put instructional materials in place for students although there are no instructors in some of these schools; the government is working very hard to get them. Because the slogan of SUBEB is ‘leave no child behind’.