Former Nasarawa State Governor, Umaru Tanko Al-Makura
The senator representing Nasarawa-South at the upper chamber of the National Assembly, Senator Umaru Tanko Al-Makura, has called on the federal and state governments in the country to give the education of people with disabilities, priority attention.
He made the appeal during an interactive session with journalists in Lafia, Nasarawa State.
Al-Makura, who was also a former governor of the state, said the state governments can lay the foundation for children with disabilities and the vulnerable through the establishment of special schools which will take care of their education from primary to secondary schools.
He said there should be an established structure which will take the burden of having to pay the fees for such children off their parents or guardians by making it free for all categories.
He noted that leaving the burden of educating children with special needs to parents who are also battling to feed themselves, could be counterproductive, adding that the cost of educating such a child from available research, is always double that of a normal one.
He said the idea of lumping children with special needs and the normal ones in the same school where they often face stigmatization and other treatments, will not bring out the best in them.
“When you go to different local government areas across the country, you will find children with special needs in the same class as the normal ones. This is not fair and should be looked into,” he explained.
“I made sure it was free for all categories from primary to secondary schools, and they have the best of facilities as well as other needs.
“ I believe a lot of them will be handy in future to contribute their own quarters to the development of the state and county.
“I hope other states will borrow from that by giving people with disability a sense of belonging and care in the future.”