By Uchechukwu Nnaike
Stakeholders in the education sector have solicited government and private sector support to address the challenges faced by children with special education needs in the country.
They observed that special education has always been a challenging area, as most institutions lack the resources and expertise to provide support for children with special needs in Nigeria.
Speaking recently in Lagos, at the inauguration of Anthos House, an initiative of Greensprings School, Mr. Femi Gbadebo observed that the problem most parents face especially those whose children suffer from intellectual disabilities is their inability to gain admission into a university when they complete secondary school.
He said Nigeria needs to understand the purpose and meaning of inclusion, adding that a child being disabled means that such a child may not be able to cope in a normal classroom environment.
“These children require special skills training that will enable them cope better in life which is what Anthos House is out to address.”
The Head of Anthos House, Kimberley Scollard said the centre was built to help children understand and connect with their learning styles, adding that this would be supported by using systematic methods to discover their skills, abilities and individual needs.
Scollard said the centre will care for children with special needs such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD); Dyslexia; Down Syndrome; Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), among others.
“Anthos House is a community which not just admits students to the school for special needs; it will provide therapy; counselling and assessment; and training.”
She urged parents searching for the right school for their children’s special education needs to bring them to Anthos House which is a unique place for children to learn and grow.
The Chief Executive Officer, Greensprings Educational Services Limited, Mrs. Lai Koiki said there is need for managers of education to think of vocations that people with special needs can engage in after leaving secondary school.
She said it is important to think of how to make people with special education needs become independent and to reintegrate into the society, adding that there is need to have some set up that would give them that one-on-one accommodation and support and train them to be independent.
Koiki said she is happy that her team has sensitised people on the need to identify with children with special needs. “Anthos House is about advocacy. It is about the society being able to pull together to give support to parents who have children with special needs.
“Every child deserves an opportunity to become the best he/she can be. Understanding your children’s developmental milestone is key to ensuring that they receive the support they may require, as early intervention is imperative,” she said.