Festus Fajemilo Foundation (FFF), a non-governmental organization focused on disability issues, has conducted its annual sensitization programme tagged ‘We Ring the Bell’ (WRTB) as it called for effective practice and delivery of inclusive education in Lagos State.
The Sensitization programme, WRTB, which was held at Ikeja Junior and Senior Secondary School featured speeches by PWDs from different walks of life, and was supported by Liliane Fonds Netherlands and held in conjunction with The Leprosy Mission Nigeria.
While addressing students at the programme, Mr. Afolabi Fajemilo, the Executive Director of FFF, explained that the programme seeks to advocate for inclusive education and help Children with Disabilities, (CWDs) have unfettered access to education.
Fajemilo said, “through WRTB, we are advocating for inclusive curriculum, inclusive classrooms and to ensure the school environment is accessible to all students.”
He tasked the government to abide by International, National, and Local legal frameworks like the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act, National and Lagos State Policies on Inclusive Education, which mandate that all children should have access to inclusive education.
He tasked children in attendance to “tell your parents and people around you that education is a right and all children should be enrolled in school.”
Corroborating Fajemilo, the Tutor General Permanent Secretary, Education District 6, Mrs. Okelola Ogundara who was represented by Mrs. Bola-Lawal, Head of Counseling Unit, explained that the children should help their other colleagues who could be out of school because of their disability status.
“You should help them by providing information about the need to be in school, and that the school is available for them,” she added.
She also commended FFF for the initiative which she said would help to increase the awareness of inclusive schools.
Other stakeholders who addressed the students were; Mrs. Rita Boyo, Chairperson, Education Committee of Lagos State Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities (JONAPWD), Mrs. Olufunke Ogunrombi, Mr. Damilare Atunwa, are also both persons with disabilities, urged the students not to limit themselves because of their disabilities.