Disabled Peoples Organizations, DPOs have harped on the need to participate effectively in the implementation of the Lagos State Inclusive Education Policy, with the aim of achieving its stated objectives.
Representatives of the DPOs noted this during a two day workshop on “Understanding Inclusive Education and Advocacy Strategies”, organized by Festus Fajemilo Foundation (FFF), under its United for Inclusive Education Project, supported by Disability Rights Fund.
The 2-Day workshop reviewed the current realities of Inclusive Education in Lagos State and identified various gaps that are existing in its implementation, among which is the non-inclusion of DPOs in the policy.
READ ALSO – https://bonewssng.com/jonapwd-holds-training-for-members-dpos/
While facilitating the session on “Current Policy Provisions on the Roles of OPDs”, Inclusive Development Consultant, Dr. Adebukola Adebayo explained that the Lagos State Policy did not categorically assign roles to DPOs , adding that, DPOs can fit into the roles of CSOs.
Dr. Adebayo noted that, among the provisions of the IE Policy for CSOs which DPOs can tap to include, “raise awareness on Inclusive Education, Influence government to implement child right and protection law and other relevant law, Support all children with school materials, Support mentoring and capacity building of stakeholders.
“Working with communities to ensure voice and accountability in the implementation of the policy and Lead advocacy and awareness for inclusive education.”
Evangelist Babatunde Wulobi, Vice President, Association of Persons with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities of Nigeria, AIDDN, explained that though the Lagos State Government has made appreciable progress regarding Inclusive Education in the state but that there are still gaps in human resource, facilities and equipment to ensure smooth running of inclusive schools.
He thereafter recommended that if DPOs are adequately engaged in the policy implementation process, more impact would be recorded.
He also noted that, “tertiary institutions in Lagos State should begin to take special education courses as measures to bridge the gap in human resource capacity for the inclusive schools.”
READ ALSO – https://bonewssng.com/idpwd-groups-call-for-implementation-of-inclusive-education-policy/
Responding, Afolabi Fajemilo, Executive Director, FFF, tasked DPO leaders to design action plan and interventions that would address the highlighted gaps.
He explained that, “now is the time for DPOs to begin to take necessary actions to achieve the desired change in the Education sector.”
READ ALSO – https://bonewssng.com/lasg-urged-to-implement-inclusive-education-policy/
Speaking on “Post-COVID Strategies that will Improve Inclusive Education in Lagos State”, Mr. Fajemilo recommended that there should be, “Adaptation of curriculum and teaching programs according to students’ individual needs; Encouraging teachers’ professional advancement;
“Disability-Inclusive COVID-19 school protocol so that teachers in inclusive schools are able to support and protect children with disabilities in their care while in schools.”