Festus Fajemilo Foundation, in partnership with the Lagos State Chapter of the Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities, JONAPWD and the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent De Paul, has revealed plans to develop teacher cooperative manual and online resource centres where regular teachers could learn more about children with disabilities and how to better communicate to enhance learning.
The groups made this known during an advocacy visit to the office of the Director of the Department of Special Education in Akoka Lagos state.
The advocacy visit is in preparation for a project by Festus Fajemilo Foundation, JONAPWD and Daughters of Charity which is geared towards promoting inclusive education by training teachers from selected Primary and Secondary schools across the State on inclusive education.
Speaking at the Visit to the office of the director for special education, Dr. Adebukola Adebayo, Chairman, Lagos JONAPWD who spoke on behalf of the project team said that the idea behind the project was to see how regular teachers could better collaborate with special teachers to teach special students in various primary and secondary schools.
Further shedding light on the need for the project, Dr. Adebayo said that the numbers of special teachers in schools were not enough to address the increasing number of special children in schools.
“The idea is for us to see how special and regular teachers can better collaborate to teach, as special teachers are always fewer, leaving us with the option of coming up with a cooperative teaching Manual that regular and inclusive teachers could use.” He said.
Dr Adebayo who also spoke on what to expect in the cause of the training said, “We will be introducing some basic skills to the regular teachers because it is the regular teacher that will support the special teachers, we will also teach basic ideas about disability teaching instruments” Dr Adebayo said.
Applauding the team for deciding to taking up the Project, the Director who revealed that she might not be able to oversee the project as the director of the department of special education because she is retiring, introduced the team to Mrs. Shomoye who she said will be relating directly with the team and handling matters related to the project after she retires.
Also in the cause of the Advocacy visit, the team paid a visit to Teaching Service Commission, TESCOM, where they spoke on the issue of current recruitment process for teachers by TESCOM , the barriers faced by People with Disabilities and their chances of being employed into the commission.
Attending to the team the commissioner II of TESCOM, Mrs. Smith who promised to see to it that a representative was sent by the commission to be part of the project as requested by the team, further disclosed that the State Government has a quota for special Teachers in the employment process and was committed to employing People with Disabilities into the commission.
The Project team members, which include representatives of Lagos JONAPWD, FFF, Daughters of Charity, Head of Inclusive Unit, Lagos; Zonal Head South West, Nigerian Educational Research & Development Council; had an inaugural planning meeting to discuss and strategize on the modus operandi of the project.