Lagos - The Lagos State Commissioner for Education, Olayinka Oladujoye, has reiterated the state government's commitment to providing education to children with disabilities.
Oladunjoye made the assertion at the 2014 Stakeholders’ Forum of the Advocacy Committee on Special Education Matters held at the Events Centre in Agidingbi, Lagos.
The Commissioner stressed that the need to accommodate children with special needs informed the state government's decision to establish the inclusive schools in the state adding that parents should take advantage of the opportunity and not hide such at home thus depriving them of education.
“God has a reason for giving the parents children with special needs,” she said.
Oladujoye pointed out that government will take advantage of the best practice procedure of inclusive schools as observed in the United Kingdom particularly on how to provide the necessary infrastructure and equipment needed by the schools.
The Chairman, Lagos State House of Assembly Committee on Education, Science and Technology, Wahab Alawiye-King, pledged the continued support of the House to education in the state noting that children with special needs also had the right to quality education.
The General Manager of the Lagos State Office of Disability Affairs (LASODA), Dr Babatunde Awelenje, highlighted the various challenges of children with special needs noting that 98 million students living with disabilities constitute the group of those who are marginalized in the society.
He highlighted some of the benefits of inclusive education as including attitudinal change, learning to have empathy and not sympathy for the special children and promote positive socialization in the society.
The Stakeholders’ Forum of the Advocacy Committee on Special Education Matters is a collaborative effort of the Lagos State Ministry of Education, DFID’s, Education Sector Support in Nigeria (ESSPIN), State Accountability and Voice Initiative (SAVI) and Golden Pen Media Concept Company.
The Lagos State Inclusive Schools was initiated in 2009 with the aim of bringing into regular School system and the larger society children with disability as well as encourage parents or guardians to bring their children to access free Universal Basic Education and foster love, unity and cooperation among regular and special pupils.
– CAJ News
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