The Students with Disabilities of Gombe State University are expected to enjoy massive supports that would improve their learning potentials and academic performances in the long run.
This was disclosed during an interactive session involving all the students with disabilities of Gombe State University (GSU), representatives of the USAiD (Nigeria State Accountability, Transparency, and Effectiveness a.k.a State2state) and some staff of the university. The session was jointly organized by the university and USAID (State 2 State) on Saturday at the university premises.
Speaking at the commencement of the interactive session, the International Relation and Diplomacy Officer of the university, Mr. Nathanial Hadu expressed immense appreciation to the State2State for their concern towards the welfare of persons with disabilities (PWDs) in the university.
He explained that the essence of first-of-its-kind interactive session with PWDs was to gather information on the pressing challenges and hardships faced by students with Disabilities in the university and how best to ameliorate such identified challenges”
His words “I am deeply convinced that the university management is very much informed about the numerous pressing challenges students with Disabilities are facing in the course of their academic pursuits”
“Be rest assured that with God on our side whatever challenges you are facing can be contained. The university will partner with relevant development partners like USAID (State to State) to surmount all the challenges you have faced and are still facing” he added.
Earlier, the president of Joint Association of Students with Disability JSWDs, Gombe State University Mal. Abdullahi Adamu Awak, a 300 level student of history department, expressed concern over the worrying situation he and his fellow Deaf students are subjected to in the institution.
He said “it’s unfortunate that many of my fellow Deaf students from different departments have been suffering from abysmal lack of information dissemination. This causes many of us to miss tests and submit our assignments on scheduled days and times. Such misfortune negatively affect our academic performances”
Corroborating the position of the JSWDs President, a 100 level Blind student from the department of Islamic studies, Usman Haruna Abubakar said “we, the blind students face the most daunting challenge in the areas of mobility”
He noted that, “the blind students often fall inside the roadside drainage and sustain various degrees of injuries on different parts of our bodies”
Abubakar further expressed concern over the failure of the University to provide examination question papers in Braille, noting that the additional 30 minutes usually alloted to the blind students during an examination is not enough for them to answer all the questions on the papers because the questions were read to them very late.
On her part, Aishatu A. Salisu, a 400 level Accounting student highlighted some useful solutions she believes if put into use will solve all the persistent challenges affecting students with disabilities in GSU.
According to her, ” it is high time for the university to collaborate with USAID (state2state) to establish Disability Centre in the university.
The centre, she stressed, can be used to solve all challenges affecting students with disabilities of GSU. She also explained the urgent need for the university to employ sign language interpreters to ease the lingering communication gap between the Deaf students and the university community”
She also said “it is imperative for all the lecturers to prepare handout and give it freely to Deaf students”
In their separate reactions to all the issues highlighted by the students, Mrs Zainab Tijjani, a lecturer in the Business Administration Department, GSU and Mr. Nathanial Hadu, International Relation and Diplomacy Officer of the university, expressed hope that by the end of this semester all the pressing challenges affecting students with disabilities would be over.
The Disability Desk Officer of the University, Mal. Shuaibu Adamu, assured the students with disabilities that the university management is very much concerned about their situations and plans are underway to establish the much awaited Disability Centre in the university soon.