Inclusive Education Key to PWDs’ Full Empowerment – Group




The Joint National Association of Persons with Disability has stressed the importance of inclusive education in the empowerment of persons with disabilities for the attainment of their full potential.

Programme Officer of JONAPWD, Mr. Usman Umoro, drew attention to this during a technical support programme tagged, ‘Inclusive Education Policy’ in Anambra State.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the programme was held under the Strengthening Civic Advocacy and Local Engagement project, funded by United States Agency for International Development, and implemented by Palladium Group.

Umoro decried the fact that Nigeria still practised a segregative system of education, with the establishment of special needs schools where PWDs learn separately from their non-disabled peers.

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According to him, a segregative system of education does not promote inclusiveness and equality, adding that it does not also facilitate PWDs’ active participation in society.

“Inclusive education is about designing our mainstream schools and classroom activities so that all students can learn and participate, irrespective of ability or disability.

“PWDs sitting, studying, playing and participating in academic and recreational activities with their non-disabled peers allows them to develop individual strengths and feel a sense of belonging.

“When PWDs learn in the same school as their non-disabled peers, the society is said to be ‘inclusive’, as it empowers them to integrate in the mainstream society and attain their full potentials,” he said.

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The Vice-Chancellor of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Professor Charlie Esimone, on his part, said the institution established the Centre for Disability and Special Needs Research in 2019 to promote inclusive education.

Represented by the Director of the centre, Professor Williams Obiozor, the VC noted that the university provided crutches, brailles, wheelchairs and other assistive devices for no fewer than 70 students with disabilities studying in the institution.

“Irrespective of disability, everyone has an equal right to quality education. This is why the university provided facilities for easy access to education for PWDs,” he added.

In his remarks, Chairman of JONAPWD in Anambra, Mr. Ugochukwu Okeke, stressed the need to strengthen legislations to promote inclusive education that would empower PWDs and make them self-reliant.

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He urged the state government to train teachers and provide funding and infrastructure to drive inclusive education so that PWDs could contribute meaningfully to society.

The highlight of the programme was the development of a draft inclusive education plan for the state.




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