By Frank Ikpefan
The Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) has announced a plan to review the implementation strategy of Universal Basic Education (UBE) in order to adequately cater for the children with special needs put at over 189,070 in basic education in Nigeria.
The commission said Nigeria has a total enrolment in Special Needs Primary Schools of 189,070, comprising 100,863 male learners and 88,201 female learners with 93 – 150 million children with different categories of disabilities in the World based on the 2018 National Personnel Audit report carried out by UBEC.
Executive Secretary of UBEC, Dr. Hamid Bobboyi, disclosed this during a 2-day interactive meeting of the Department of Special programmes with States Universal Basic Education Boards (SUBEBs) Special Education desk officers in Abuja as part of efforts to ensure inclusive education in the country.
The UBEC chief said he believed that with the right attitude and commitment, the new initiative could be executed with a high degree of outcome to meet the socio-economic development of the country and also meet up with the international standards of education that would make Nigeria and Nigerian children compete favourable with their counterparts around the world.
Bobboyi also acknowledged that for a clearer understanding of the principles of inclusive education in terms of whole-school planning, technical experts have been carefully selected to kick-start the programme.
He noted that the ultimate goal of the meeting was to ensure that the learning needs of all categories of children with special needs are adequately catered for through the provision of assistive technologies and instructional materials.
While hoping that the needs assessment would be a guide to record the necessary information accordingly, he requested the experts to make appropriate submissions for proper follow-up in their states.
He added that an effective inclusive education system would bring about the implementation of individualised education opportunities for different categories of children with disabilities, provide a common learning environment for all learners and present a clear vision and well-stated mission geared towards achieving exceptional learning performance.
The ES urged them to put in the right attitude to work in consideration of the future of the children, particularly children with special needs to bring out the required report that will achieve the objectives of this national assignment”.