The Human Development Initiative, ActionAid Nigeria and Persons with Disability on Wednesday embarked on a peaceful walk to the Lagos State House of Assembly to demand a review of the policy on inclusive education.
The peace walk which kick-started at Allen Avenue Junction saw members of the PWD and NGO community walk to the statehouse where they presented their demands to the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Hon. Mudasiru Obasa.
The protesters requested that the quality of inclusive education in Lagos state be improved.
They asked the Lagos state government to increase the amount allocated to public education in the 2022 budget. They also asked the Lagos state government to ensure that the content of education in the proposed 2022 budget is gender and disability responsive.
Speaking with journalists during the peace walk, Olufunso Owasanoye, HDI Executive Director, while commending the Lagos state government for creating policies tailored to allow PWDs access to education, pointed out that much more needed to be done in the area of putting the policy to work.
She asked the Lagos Assembly to increase the share of budgetary allocation to education in the ongoing deliberations on the 2022 budget to support gender-responsive and inclusive education.
“Government should amend existing schools structures to meet inclusive education standard and also to break down all known barriers in the way of persons with disabilities. There should be provision of ramps, electronic interactive materials, braille materials for the visually-impaired and special teachers administering teaching in an all-inclusive environment,” she said.
“All tertiary institutions owned by the Lagos State government should have a Department of Inclusive Education. Many children with disabilities cannot go to school because of lack of knowledge of the location of inclusive facilities,” she added.
Ms Owasanoye also tasked the state government to ensure that facilities in the schooling environment are friendly to the marginalised and to children with disabilities and provide them with a special transportation system.
Responding to the demands of the protesters, Victor Akande, Chairman, House Committee on Human Rights, Judiciary and Public Petitions, said that the lawmakers were going to look into laws affecting PWDs to meet their demands.