The Lagos State Government has been charged to review and implement the Lagos State Inclusive Education policy with the motive of providing free, equitable, quality and inclusive public education for all children across the state.
The call was made by Dr. Adebukola Adebayo, a disability consultant while speaking on the ‘Status of Inclusive Education in Lagos State’ at the forum on Stakeholders Periodic Reflection and Action Meeting on Breaking the Barrier Project of Human Development Initiative, HDI in partnership with Action Aid and NORAD.
Dr. Adebayo commended the impact of the Lagos State government in driving inclusion in the state but noted that the current practice in the education system in the state is ‘Integration’ and not ‘Inclusion’.
He explained that inclusive education does not only cater for persons with disabilities, PWDs but children in hard to reach community, the poor, exceptionally brilliant children amongst others.
Dr. Adebayo who said the creation of special schools is not the best practice added that, “we live in the same community, we go to the same market, therefore we should be able to learn in the same facility.”
He however recommended that, “there is need to establish a full-fledged Department of Special and Inclusive Education within the State Ministry of Education headed by a qualified Special Educationist to manage the affairs of all special and inclusive schools. Special and Inclusive education has become a major component of the Lagos State education sector which is too much for just a unit to handle.
“Comprehensive institutional, infrastructural and manpower audit of all the inclusive schools should be conducted to determine specific and general needs. Also, a medium and long-term Inclusive Schools Development Plan should be drafted in line with the State’s MTSS and SDP.”
While giving his opening remark, Samuel Ajayi, Program Officer, HDI said the Breaking the Barrier project seeks to solicit for increase in budget size for the education sector so that the sector can be empowering, enabling for all children without leaving any child behind.