Stakeholders and advocates for inclusive education in Nigeria have called on government at all levels to train more special teachers to meet the needs of children in special schools.
A cross-section of the stakeholders made the call in separate interviews with the Nigeria News Agency during the end-of-year party organised by SafeHost International Academy, Abuja.
They further requested for the establishment of more special schools that could help to take special children out of the street and offer them quality education to make them self reliant.
NAN reports that the school is an inclusive education centre for both special and normal children.
Mrs Ngozi Belolisa, a special needs teacher at the school, called on parents to accept the gift given by God and stop denying the children their right to education.
According to her, “education is a basic need of every child. It is supposed to be available to every child regardless of their physical or social limitations.
“We have our challenges, one of them is our challenged parents. Some of them live in denial and that makes our work difficult.
“Whatever we do at school, we try to tell the parents to continue with it at home. We cannot do all.
“We also need support from government to be able to make progress, while taking care of the children with special needs.”
Also, Mr Gana Tuayeringha, parent of a child with special need (cerebral palsy), called for government’s intervention to inclusive schools to enable them to accomodate and take care of more children with special needs.
Tuayeringha said that although the Federal Government had some special schools, they were inadequate to meet the educational needs of the special children.
He said: “I have a child in this school whom I brought here a year ago. I have seen some considerable improvement in her.
“The school is taking care of every child based on their needs. They cannot do this alone but they need government’s support.
“It is a known fact that children with special needs are exceptionally brilliant but their skills and talents can only be developed and harnessed if they are enrolled in special school.
“Government should therefore rise to the challenge and put a proper platform on ground to assist special needs children in our society.”
Mrs Margaret Azinkpali, also a parent of 16-year-old Ebube, an autistic child, commended the school for its efforts in giving hope to the hopeless.
She thanked the school for having nurtured a lot of children with autism, saying that there had been a great improvement in the children’s hyperactivity and motor moverment.
(Edited by: Sam Oditah)