The Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board (LSUBEB) has warned against discrimination and stigmatistion of those living with disabilities in the state, noting that it’s special inclusive schools are well positioned to help parents train their children.
Speaking at a programme to commemorate the 2022 International Day of Persons Living With Disabilities, themed, ‘Transformative Solutions for Inclusive Development: The Role of Innovation in Fuelling an Accessible and Equitable World’, organised by the board in partnership ‘You Matter To Us Foundation’, the Executive Chairman, Mr. Wahab Alawiye-King, noted that the state’s inclusive schools are designed to give education to all in the state.
Represented by its Board Secretary, Mr. Hakeem Lamidi, Alawiye-King, said the state’s 54 inclusive schools were designed to leave no child behind in the universal basic and inclusion education which is compulsory in the state.
According to him, “presently we have 54 inclusive and special schools in Lagos state and beyond that all the infrastructural development springing up in the state are in consideration for those with disabilities.
“The Lagos state government is running a free education across our secondary up to tertiary institution for those with disabilities. So we encourage parents to bring them down because they can actually become better in life.”
In an interview with journalists on how the state is handling the stigmatisation in the state, he stated that it was the reason why it established the inclusive units where they could co-exist with other children in our schools.
“Al ot is been done and that was why I mentioned earlier that our 54 special schools and inclusive units, so we allow them to cross fertilise ideas to let them know they are normal children and there is no ground for them to be discriminated against.”
The Deputy Director, Head of Special Education units, LASUBEB, Mrs. Hilda Twins, said with over 3,000 primary school pupils, they would continue to partner with the private sector to deepen technological innovation that would aid learning for them.
According to her, Lagos state is really doing a lot in the aspect of innovation with more focus on capacity building for their teachers.
“When you change the mindset of teachers then you will have new innovations coming to play .We are also trying to see ways we can collaborate with the private sector to have more institutional materials that are technologically oriented that promote exclusivity in our schools.”
On what the state is doing on the population of those living with disabilities and the out-of-school children, she emphasised that the project zero of the social mobilisation department is working on reducing the number through supporting parents.
“The number of people living with disabilities within the state owned primary schools is close to 3,000 and gives a meal per day to the children.”
The founder, You Matter To Us Foundation, Mrs. Omolara Ajetumobi, acknowledged that they would continue to close gaps where government resources might be enough.
“We know that we cannot leave the work alone for the government because the private sector is needed to complement their work for the sake of empowering those living with disabilities.”
The programme featured selected children from Wesley School and National Orthopedic Special School performing cultural dance.