The FCT Minister of State, Dr Ramatu Aliyu, has called for the implementation of Nigeria National Policy on Education drafted in 2004, which captures the provision of special and formal education for children with disabilities.
Aliyu made the call at a docudrama presentation by children with special needs, organised by the Royal School of Educational Therapy Foundation, Gwarimpa, Abuja on Tuesday in Abuja.
Represented by Dr Jumai Ahmadu, Acting Director, FCT Department of Reform Coordination and Service Improvement, the minister stated that the policy would address other sundry issues of free education for children with special needs.
Aliyu said that it would also address inclusive education of children with special needs in public and private schools.
” We all must push for the implementation of this policy,” the minister said.
Aliyu commended Dr Badewa Adejugbe-Williams, the founder, Royal School of Educational Therapy Foundation, and the entire management staff for their thoughtfulness in organising the event.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event was aimed at giving voice to persons with developmental disabilities.
According to the minister, the event would foster children’s development and demonstrate to the world that no matter the challenges, each person with disability has strengths and was able to learn and achieve if given the opportunity.
Earlier, Adejugbe-Williams, called for the implementation of inclusive education policy in the country to cater for children with special needs.
She explained that the purpose of the event was to amplify the voices of children with disabilities, noting that most times, these children are marginalised and discriminated.
Adejugbe-Williams added that the event was meant to prove that children with disabilities could learn and to show the whole world that disability do have abilities.
“The reason for this event is to give children with disabilities a chance. Expose them to the society. Let them learn.
“Let them be in school. Let them work, because they can actually add to the socio-economic values of the country. They can be taxpayers. Just give them the opportunity and equip them.
“Government has policies in place, let implement these policies and those who are involved in discrimination and marginalisation of children with disabilities should be held accountable,” Adejugbe-Williams said.
She said that there should be no discrimination against those with disabilities, either in the hospitals, schools or in workplaces.
Also, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), expressed worry over lack of domestication and implementation of the Child Right Act in many states of the federation.
Dabiri-Erewa noted that implementing the act would assist children with disabilities in the states.
Dabiri-Erewa promised to mobilise Nigerians in Diaspora, especially women, to assist children with special needs in the country. (NAN)