Government to provide inclusive education for children with special needs

Olubunmi Osoteku, Ibadan

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The Nigerian Government has reiterated its commitment to an all inclusive education and policy development by making school accessible for children with special needs and most vulnerable in the country.

The Minister for Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Farouk, stated this while declaring open a 3-day step-down training workshop for teachers and caregivers of children with special needs.

The Workshop, themed: ‘Ensuring Improvement and Well-being of Children with Special Needs’, was held at the Conference Room of the Oyo State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Inclusion, Ibadan on Tuesday.

Hajiya Farouk who was represented by the Principal Community Development Officer, Rehabilitation Department of the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, said the training was to equip the capacity skill and knowledge of the teachers and caregivers on how to effectively care for the children with special needs in an enabling environment.

She said, “We want to have a critical mass of Nigerians who have better knowledge and skills to show care, love and affection for these categories of people so as to discover their full potentials and participate in the development of the country.”

“I believe they should not be left out, hence, there are holistic plans for all the people living with disabilities especially, the vulnerable children, they must have access to basic education with ease and compete favorably with their counterpart, if their challenges are well managed,” Farouk emphasised.

Hajiya Farouk therefore solicited more support for the care of children with special needs and advised the teachers and caregivers to keep giving love and show empathy towards them.

Earlier, in her welcome address, Oyo State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Inclusion, Alhaja Faosat Sanni who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mrs Christianah Abioye, said every available opportunity to enhance the condition and status of children with special needs should be capitalized upon.

She explained that the children with special needs constitute one of the vulnerable and exceptional groups in our communities that still require specialised attention and strategies for their care and development.

Alhaja Sanni appreciated the organising Ministry for choosing Oyo State for the training and as one of the pilot tates out of the six selected to benefit from the training initiative.

She enjoined the participants to key into the vision and make use of the opportunity to achieve success at the end of the training programme.

Nnenna.O