A Coalition of Associations for Leadership, Peace, Empowerment & Development (CALPED) has said that segregation in the schooling system is gross discrimination against Persons with Disabilities (PWDs), calling for a more inclusive educational model in Kaduna State.
The Head of (CALPED) Inclusive Education Department, Mr. Smith Waya, asserted this on April 25, 2023, during a roundtable discussion on Inclusive Education in Kaduna State organized by the Joint National Associations of Persons with Disabilities JONAPWDs in collaboration with (CALPED).
According to him, the educational model mostly practiced, especially in a tertiary institution, is segregation, where children with disabilities are educated in Special Schools. This can lead to discrimination, exclusion from socialization in a diverse society, and make them vulnerable to Human Rights abuses.
Mr. Waya disclosed that his organization, having taken note that the educational system, especially in tertiary education in Kaduna State, is championing a cause for inclusive education for PWDs.
In his remarks, the Chairman, Joint National Associations of Persons with Disabilities (JONAPWDs), said his association has received a grant under the Nigeria Strengthening Civic Advocacy and Local Engagement (SCALE) project, which is a 12-month project funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by Palladium through a cooperative agreement with USAID.
He explained that the overall objective of JONAPWD’s project was to advocate for the implementation of inclusive education provisions contained in Article 24 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPWD) and Part 5 of the Nigeria Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act, 2018.
“JONAPWD is expected to carry out a cross-country Political Economy Analysis (PEA) on the current status of inclusive education across five (5) selected project states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). Specifically, this PEA will aim to broadly give answers to: Why inclusive education is important.”
In his remarks, The Executive Secretary (ES) of Kaduna State Disability Affairs Board, Aliyu Haruna Yakasai, expressed delight in the roundtable with the media, saying they have a great role to play for Inclusive Education for PWDs.
He expressed dismay that the educational model not only in Kaduna but across the country, most times do not put in mind PWDs especially in erecting structures.
He tasked the media practitioners present to use their pen power to change the mindset of people, policymakers, and other relevant stakeholders on Inclusive Education for PWDs.
He, however, said that the PWDs have to be up in their game, saying that when the board was established, the matching order was to engage 60 percent staff who are PWDs but surprisingly when the post was advertised, they got a fewer percentage which is not encouraging. He added that the problem with PWDs is not policy making but implementation. He therefore charged JONAPWD to embark on an advocacy visit to TETFund, tertiary institution, and relevant stakeholders present the need for Inclusive Education for PWDs.