The Human Development Initiatives, HDI Nigeria, has called on the Lagos State Governor and State House of Assembly to ensure that the 2022 Appropriation bill is disability sensitive.
The organization made the call in a statement signed by Mrs. Olufunso Owasanoye, Executive Director, HDI in commemoration of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, 2021.
HDI noted that it is expected that the appropriation bill, will among other things make disability issues visible by ensuring that all budget areas address disability challenges in the State especially for the education sector.
It was also added that, “the Medium Term Sector Strategy should be seen to promote inclusive education and build the capacity of initiators on gender and disability-based budgeting.”
HDI noted that the Inclusive Education policy needs to be reviewed to ensure increase access to education for children with disabilities.
The statement reads in part, “the policy document on Inclusive education should be reviewed and activated by the commissioner for education and get the approval of the State Executive Council to facilitate the support of the State House of Assembly to institutionalize it.
“Lagos State Government should recruit more teachers and ensure that 20 percent of teachers’ recruitment is set aside for special teachers as a way of progressively promoting inclusive education.”
While explaining that many children with disabilities are not in school, majorly because schools closest to them are not accessible to them and partly because their parents/guardians are not aware of the nearest locations of inclusive schools, HDI highlighted that, “effort must be made to improve schools quality to an inclusive standard, while the names of all the existing Lagos inclusive schools should be published.”
“The Lagos State Government should make special provision especially transportation, housing for teachers posted to rural and hard-to-reach areas of the State.
“The Lagos State Government should do more to ensure that school infrastructure, facilities and surrounding are accessible to children with disabilities,” it added.
The statement also added that, “ActionAid Nigeria, Human Development Initiatives, JONAPWD and other disability communities and education coalitions are always willing and ready to share our practical recommendations outlined in our various reports to support the implementation of sustainable measures, not just to perpetuate the status quo, but to progressively invest in the skilled teacher workforce needed to build back education systems that are better, more inclusive and leave no child behind.”