By Diana Omueza
Daughters of Charity, a Non Governmental Organisation(NGO), has stressed the need for Nigerian teachers in both government and private schools to be trained on inclusive education for the benefit of children with disabilities.
Rev. Sister Fidelia Unigwe, the group Programme Coordinator, Child Empowerment, said this while speaking with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the sideline of an advocacy programme at the Government Girls Secondary School, Dutse.
The programme tagged ‘We Ring the Bell’, was organised by the group in partnership with Liliane Fonds Supported Service.
Unigwe said that the programme was done under its child empowerment programme to highlight the need for inclusive education for children, especially those with disabilities.
She said that inclusive education would compel schools to accommodate all children regardless of their physical; intellectual; social; emotional; linguistic or other conditions.
“Inclusive education should include the disabled; gifted; street and working children; children from remote or nomadic populations; children from linguistic; ethnic or cultural minorities and those from disadvantaged or marginalised areas,” she said.
Unigwe said that to ensure that teachers diversify in their teaching methodologies, availability of learning and teaching aids must be made mandatory in schools across the country.
“Government should also empower the Ministry of Education through training and building its capacities on basic special needs, skills and competencies.
“It should also ensure that all schools owned by both government and private individuals are made inclusive with the provisions of ramps and other assistive devices for children with disabilities,’’ Unigwe said.
She also urged government to ensure that a budget for inclusive education in schools was factored into the National Budget for education; thus increasing the budget for education.
She appealed to government to ensure that annual budgets were timely, for effective disbursements to schools and to enforce inclusive policies in various educational facilities.
The Ring the Bell programme was an annual advocacy programme, reflecting the state of inclusive education for children with disabilities in educational institutions in the country.