Education stakeholders in Lagos have advocated the inclusion of People with Disabilities, PWD, into school governance committees to ensure equity and effective delivery of Inclusive Education in the state.
The stakeholders shared their perspectives at a one-day consultative forum on the development and management of Disabled People’s Organisation and Education-focused Civil Society Organizations, organized by Human Development Initiatives, HDI as part of its United for Inclusive Education funded by Disability Rights Fund and jointly implemented by The Irede Foundation and Festus Fajemilo Foundation.
While giving her remark, the Executive Director, HDI, Mrs. Olufunso Owasanoye said, PWD should be given the opportunity to contribute their potential in educational governance which can effectively move the activities and functions of education in the state.
Mrs. Owasanoye stressed that the journey to full inclusion in the education sector can be hastened by involving the already excluded/marginalized individuals.
“We believe that the exclusion of persons with disability in the school governance structure such as the School-based Management Committees is a huge oversight on the part of Lagos State Government that needs to be corrected.
“I see it as a must for PWD to be included in the school governance because they have potential and can also contribute to the development of education sector,” she added.
Also speaking at the event, Mr. Afolabi Fajemilo, the Executive Director, Festus Fajemilo Foundation encouraged stakeholders to come on board for inclusive education to have the expected learning outcomes, ensuring that no child is left behind and that schools and all public infrastructures should serve the interest all the Children with Disabilities.
Mr. Fajemilo added that “we want to see government transforming those investments into visible and chargeable realities; we want to see that schools accessible to all children with disability. We want to see all public infrastructures serving the interest of CWDs.”
Mrs. Hilda Twins, who represented the Chairman of the Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board, shared that the board is working to promote inclusive education because “inclusion is about breaking barriers in workplace, lifestyle and even society because we are in a dynamic society, there is no separate society for PWD and to thrive in this society, we need to accept PWD and be their advocate.”
Stakeholders present at the forum include the Representative of Commissioner Ministry of Education, Representative of the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Education, Mrs. Christiana Adetola Dasaolu; Representative of LASODA, Mr. Oguntoye Akintunde; President Deaf Association Lagos State, Mr. Abiola Adenuga; Lagos State SBMC, Disabled Person Organisations, Irede Foundation among others.