The Osun State chapter of the Joint National Association of Persons With Disabilities (JONAPWD) has called on Governor Ademola Adeleke to recall the 61 teachers with disabilities who were sacked on his assumption of office.
The association lamented the neglect of its members, saying the state government has refused to appoint a Special Adviser on disability despite promises during electioneering.
The state Chairman of JONAPWD, Oluwafemi Idowu, made the appeal at a press conference heralding the 2023 International Day of Persons With Disabilities (PWDs), urging Adeleke to hasten the approval of the disability bill.
Idowu also begged the governor to recall the 61 teachers sacked upon his assumption, saying there is a shortage of teachers in the school for disabilities.
He said: “The former administration employed 61 of us and the new administration canceled the employment. We are begging the Governor to recall the sacked teachers. There is a shortage of teachers in our school.
“Some philanthropists have been supporting us and we call for more backing. There is no fence in our secondary school, thus exposing our students to danger.”
Corroborating, the Secretary of JONAPWD, Aghanti Smith, disclosed that several letters have been written to the Governor and his deputy, Kola Adewusi, who is in charge of special needs, to appoint a representative of PWDs as they have in other states.
Smith also lamented that there is no provision for the PWDs in the health insurance scheme, while efforts to get support from the government for the 2023 International Day of PWDs have not been fruitful.
“We have written to the Governor and the deputy governor on the representative of persons with disability in the government. We suggested names for the deputy governor who is also in charge of special needs. They should employ one of us as Senior Special Adviser on disability affairs,” Smith said.
Elizabeth Isola, the Women Coordinator of JONAPWD, lamented what she described as frequent harassment of students, particularly women, due to the lack of security in the school.
According to her: “Our school environment is not safe. The security is bad. There is no fence. Our women are being harassed and people are taking advantage because we have no one to speak for them. Sexual harassment is increasing among women with disabilities.”