Children with special needs want to be included with their able bodied peers under the same learning and teaching environment.
This is the findings of journalists who visited some of the schools for persons with special needs in Osun, Ondo and Ekiti States.
At the school located in Osogbo, Miss Kikelomo Hamzat who is in the secondary school session explained that isolating them from their able bodied counterparts make learning difficult and make them feel like they had no what as human beings.
Similarly, a blind student at the Ekiti Government school for persons, Miss Roseline Adedara said sometimes they needed people to explain to them some of the things hurriedly taught in class, but none would be available since they had similar challenges.
At the school for the deaf in Akure, the Ondo state capital, a student who wrote his name on a paper as Kelechi Martins also wrote that being under same learning environment would enable them to know things happening in their environment.
A student of the College of Education, Special Oyo, Oyo state, Mr Oke Omoniyi recalled that the isolated life he lived through the primary and secondary schools affected his attitude and attitude of others sighted people to him at the tertiary level.
Speaking on the development, a teacher at the school for special persons in Ikere Ekiti state, Mr Kayode Owolabi argued that integrating the pupils with Physical limitations with their able bodied people in the same school would enhance the understanding of the society by them and would also input into the able bodied the psychology of the blind and other people with disabilities, hence abolishing the scourge of stigmatisation.
Expressing similar view, the Osun State Chairman of the Nigeria Association of the Blind who is also a teacher in one of the special schools in the state, Mr Olufemi Stephen maintained that the practice of inclusive education at all levels across the states of the federation was the first step to proof that Nigeria was ready to eradicate all forms of discrimination and stigmatisation.
A blind legal practitioner who has special interest in the right of people with disabilities described the current practise of exclusive and integrated special education system rather than the inclusive in most states as a violation of the Universal Basic Education law, the Nigeria constitution, the child Right Act and other international conventions to which Nigeria was signatory.
However, are the affected state governments disposed to implementing the all inclusive education system?
Alhaji Fatai Kolawole who Is the permanent Secretary at Osun State Universal Basic Education Board, Osogbo pledged that the government would commence the implementation by next academic session.
However, his counterpart in Ekiti Senator Bode Ola and that of Ondo state, Princess Oladunni Odu told newsmen that the policy would become once the finance of their states improved.
However, a former Vice Chancellor of the defunct University of Education, Ikere Ekiti, Professor Akin Ogunlade who described the idea as the best approach to provide education for all Nigerians, maintained that it was not inadequate of fund, but political will to implement it was lacking in most of the political leadership nationwide.
Source: Radio Nigeria