The Minister of State for Education, Dr Yusuf Sununu, has said most of the rights of people with disabilities, such as right to education, medical care, employment and free movement are not given to them.
The minister, who stated this in Abuja on Tuesday at the Federal Ministry of Education commemoration of the 2023 International Day of Persons with Disabilities, (PWDs), said findings revealed that children with disability are rejected from the public schools because of lack of facilities and caregivers.
While noting that the discrimination must stop by the collaborative efforts of all stakeholders, he said it was disheartening that some people perceived disability negatively.
Sununu, represented by his Special Adviser on Technical, Mrs. Clarence Ujam, asked education stakeholders to desist from rejecting PWDs in school environments.
The occasion which has the theme: “United In Action To Rescue And Achieve The SDGs For, With, And By Persons With Disabilities”, was in collaboration with the Adolescent Girls Initiative for Learning and Empowerment (AGILE) project.
Sununu commended the AGILE programme, for being a drive in championing the cause of PWDs, especially in seeing that they have a voice.
“Disability, as we all know, is a worldwide phenomenon that spans countries, sex, age, religion, race, and social status, economic and political position. According to the World Health Organisation’s 2011 World Disability Report, there are between 25 million and 27 million disabled persons in Nigeria.
“The United Nations (2011) projected that one in 10 persons in Nigeria suffers from some form of disability, and that nine out of those with a disability live below the poverty levels,” he said.
He said the ministry had been in the vanguard of championing the course of persons with disability in general and in the area of special education in Particular.
Speaking, the National Coordinator of AGILE project, Mrs. Amina Haruna, appreciated the roles of PWDs in contributing immensely to the development of education in Nigeria.
Haruna, who was represented by the Deputy National Coordinator of the project, Mrs Abuka Ajanigo, said their contributions further gave credence to the fact that there is ability in disability.