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Inclusive Education and Persons Living with Intellectual Disability in Nigeria

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Inclusive Education and Persons Living with Intellectual Disability in Nigeria

By

Ijeoma Fynecontry

While there has been so much emphasis on free and compulsory primary/secondary education for all, limited attention has been paid to the educational needs of persons living with intellectual disability. One of the challenges facing persons living with disability in Nigeria is access to qualitative education.

Unfortunately, in most of the states in Nigeria, there are no formal structures to address the educational needs of disabled children especially those living with intellectual disability.

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has clearly outlined the duties and responsibilities of states. Under Article 24(1) of the convention, states are enjoined to:
“….recognize the right of persons with disabilities to education. With a view to realising this right without discrimination and on the basis of equal opportunity, State parties shall ensure an inclusive education system at all levels and lifelong learning directed to: The full development of human potential and sense of dignity and self-worth, and the strengthening of respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms and human diversity;

The development by persons with disabilities of their personality, talents and creativity, as well as their mental and physical abilities, to their fullest potential;
Enabling persons with disabilities to participate effectively in a free society.”

Nigeria signed this Convention on May 30, 2007 and ratified it on 24th of September 24, 2010. Thus, it is the responsibility of the Nigerian state to provide inclusive education for its citizens living with intellectual disability in order to guarantee their fullest development and effective participation in the society.

READ ALSO; Dealing With Procrastination

Article 24(2) further enjoined States parties to ensure that: “
Persons with disabilities are not excluded from the general education system on the basis of disability, and that children with disabilities are not excluded from free and compulsory primary education or from secondary education, on the basis of disability;

Persons with disabilities can access an inclusive, quality and free primary education and secondary education on an equal basis with others in the communities in which they live;
Reasonable accommodation of the individual’s requirements is provided;
Persons with disabilities receive the support required, within the general education system, to facilitate their effective education;

Effective individualized support measures are provided in environments that maximize academic and social development, consistent with the goal of full inclusion.

Inclusive education stands for education that includes everyone, both persons without disability and differently abled people. It is a model of education that embraces those with special educational needs, getting them to learn together in mainstream schools or other places of learning.

 

The key factor here is togetherness. Thus, inclusive education contemplates a class equipped to teach both the child with special or additional needs and the regular child within the same classroom.

It is commendable that Lagos State is making efforts to ensure inclusive education for its residents living with various disabilities especially those with intellectual disability.

However, an examination of the situation shows that there is still a lot to be done. The inclusive education model still falls short of the expected United Nations and international standard.

The Lagos State model only allows the students with intellectual disability attend different school but within the same premises with the regular learners. There is no adequate provision of the necessary special learning tools directly benefiting persons living with intellectual disability to ensure and encourage effective learning for them. This is far from the contemplation and the spirit of the United Nations Convention On disabilities and the protocols.

A lot of work still needs to be done to make the educational system really inclusive and ensure that children with intellectual disability can access full and quality education on an equal basis with others in their communities.

Fynecontry is the legal resource person with the Down Syndrome Foundation of Nigeria.

 

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U.K. Magazine Condemns Corruption In Buhari’s Govt, Army, Police

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U.K. Magazine Condemns Corruption In Buhari's Govt, Army, Police

The London-based news magazine, The Economist, has condemned what it identified as corruption and ineptness in the government of President Muhammadu Buhari, the military and the police.

The 178-year-old magazine said this in an editorial titled, ‘The Crime Scene at the Heart of Africa,’ which was published in its October 23, 2021, issue.

It said due to Buhari’s mismanagement of the economy, food prices had soared while life had become more difficult for Nigerians.

The editorial read in part : “Economic troubles are compounded by a government that is inept and heavy-handed. Mr Buhari, who was elected in 2015, turned an oil shock into a recession by propping up the naira and barring many imports in the hope this would spur domestic production.

“Instead he sent annual food inflation soaring above 20 per cent. He has failed to curb corruption, which breeds resentment. Many Nigerians are furious that they see so little benefit from the country’s billions of petrodollars, much of which their rulers have squandered or stolen.”

The Economist stated that even before COVID-19 last year, Nigeria was already witnessing unprecedented poverty.

The news magazine opined that this economic hardship was fuelling the current insecurity in the country.

“Two factors help explain Nigeria’s increasing instability: a sick economy and a bumbling government. Slow growth and two recessions have made Nigerians poorer, on average, each year since oil prices fell in 2015.

“Before COVID-19, 40 per cent of them were below Nigeria’s extremely low poverty line of about $1 a day. If Nigeria’s 36 states were stand-alone countries, more than one-third would be categorised by the World Bank as

“low-income” (less than $1,045 a head). Poverty combined with stagnation tends to increase the risk of civil conflict,” it argued.

READ ALSO: Establishing Naval Base In Kano Has Worsened Buhari’s Nepotism, Parochialism – Clark

The Economist gave the Nigerian Army a dressing down, describing the military organisation as only strong on paper.

It alleged that the army had ghost workers on its payroll and often sold equipment to insurgents who destabilise the nation.

The news magazine said the Nigeria Police Force was poorly trained and underpaid hence they rob innocent citizens in order to augment their salaries.

The editorial further read: “When violence erupts, the government does nothing or crack heads almost indiscriminately. Nigeria’s Army is mighty on paper. But many of its soldiers are ‘ghosts’ who exist only on the payroll, and much of its equipment is stolen and sold to insurgents. The army is also stretched thin, having been deployed to all of Nigeria’s states.

“The police are understaffed, demoralised and poorly trained. Many supplement their low pay by robbing the public they have sworn to protect.”

It called on the Department of State Services to stop disobeying court orders and release all those being detained illegally.

The Economist described as scandalous the refusal of the Nigerian government to arrest and prosecute any of the security operatives that killed protesters in Lagos last year.

The news magazine said in order to stop the slide towards lawlessness, Nigeria’s government should make its own forces obey the law.

The editorial further read: “Soldiers and police who murder or torture should be prosecuted. That no one has been held accountable for the slaughter of perhaps 15 peaceful demonstrators against police abuses in Lagos last year is a scandal. The secret police should stop ignoring court orders to release people who are being held illegally. This would not just be morally right, but also practical: young men who see or experience state brutality are more likely to join extremist groups.”

READ ALSO: How Buhari’s Panel Sold Six-storey Building For Paltry N100m

The news magazine noted that Nigeria was home to one of the largest film industries in the world and had the most successful start-ups in sub-Saharan Africa.

It argued that despite the great potential of the country, youths were beginning to emigrate in droves because of the sorry state of Nigeria.

 

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Govt Recaptures 262 Escaped Inmates From Oyo Correctional Facility

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Govt Recaptures 262 Escaped Inmates From Oyo Correctional Facility

The Nigeria Correctional Service (NCS) says 262 inmates from the 837 who escaped from the Abolongo Correctional Centre in Oyo town have been recaptured.

The Spokesperson of the NCS Oyo command, Olanrewaju Anjorin, in a statement on Saturday in Ibadan, said while 262 escaped inmates had been recaptured, 575 were still at large.

It was reported that suspected gunmen invaded the facility on Friday at about 9.30 p.m., blowing up the facility with dynamite and freeing all 837 awaiting trial inmates.

Mr Anjorin said, “All the awaiting trial detainees were forced out of custody, the cells housing the convicts and the female inmates were not vandalised.

“Meanwhile, a total of 262 of the escapees have been recaptured leaving 575 still at large.”

READ ALSO: Prisoners Escape As Gunmen Attack Oyo Correctional Facility

According to him, “the State Controller, Noel Ailewon, has commenced the process of search and recapture after visiting the scene of the incident.”

Assuring the public the fleeing inmates will be recaptured, the spokesperson said credible intelligence was needed to assist security agencies to track down the inmates.

He said the Oyo Custodial Centre was established in 2007 with a capacity of 160 inmates but had a total population of 907 at the time of the attack.

“Of this number, awaiting trial persons were 837 representing 92 per cent with just 64 convicts,” Mr Anjorin said.

(NAN)

 

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How My Father Was Jailed For Not Sending Me To School – Atiku

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How My Father Was Jailed For Not Sending Me To School - Atiku

Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar has narrated how his father was jailed for failing to send him to school while he was growing up as a teenager.

The former presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) stated this while delivering a speech at the Baze University Graduation ceremony in Abuja on Friday.

Atiku also said that his father later embraced the idea of education and despite his humble background, he enjoyed quality education for free.

In his speech titled “Solving Nigeria’s Education Challenges”, Atiku said : “I was a schoolboy and a herdsboy, and I fed my family.

READ ALSO: How To End Kidnapping Of University Students, Others – Atiku

“When I was 11 years old, my father drowned and died while crossing a river in the neighbourhood. He was not up to 40 years.

“Being an only child, I was raised by my maternal grandparents. I remember, sometimes we could barely afford one meal a day.

“Despite my difficult background, I went to school for free, in fact, I was paid to go to school.

“Initially, my father did not buy the idea of me going to school, for which he had to go to jail. I furthered my education to other tertiary institutions. I was the Students Union President at the School of Hygiene, Kano.

“My journey to education is different from yours. Your parents may have paid tuition fees for your education, but you did not have to rear cattle for food. However, both you and I got educated eventually. The paths may be different; nonetheless, the destination remains the same. Let us help others to reach their destination too.”

 

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