By Josephine Agbonkhese
Stakeholders have appealed to the Lagos State government to, as a matter of urgency, recruit vocational instructors into special education schools across the state.
Making this appeal in Lagos recently, the stakeholders, especially parents, said equipment worth over N10million were being left to rot away at most of the inclusive schools in the state, due to lack of instructors.
Speaking at a recent review meeting organised by the Kudirat Initiative for Democracy, KIND, in partnership with VOICE Initiative, a UK-based global non-profit, one of the parents identified as Mrs Adeosun lamented the burden of enrolling her son for a skill with a roadside artisan when he could have conveniently been trained at school.
ALSO READ: UNICEF supports development of child protection data in Kano State
Also expressing her dissatisfaction, Country Coordinator, VOICE Initiative, Ijeoma Okwor, said: “You cannot start something as noble as that and then stop in the middle. The instructor is as critical as the equipment bought with millions of naira. I, therefore, want to urge the Lagos State government to put an end to this wastage by ensuring instructors are recruited.
Speaking further at the meeting aimed at accessing the impact of KIND’s three-year work with inclusive schools in the state; a project supported by VOICE Initiative, Okwor said: “It is important everybody is given equal opportunity to live life fully. Unfortunately, when you visit most inclusive schools in Nigeria, you find that even the environments are not inclusive.
“How are these people expected to learn? Generally, in the long run, when we respect diversity, we are able to maximise each person’s potential as a society. We need to create opportunities for everyone to develop their potentials.”
In reaction, Head, Special Education Unit, School Support Services Department, State Universal Basic Education Board, SUBEB, Lagos, Hilda Twins, said the government was assiduously working towards ensuring no inclusive school lacks vocational instructors.
“SUBEB has been able to put in place vocational materials as well as instructors in schools. In schools where there are no instructors, the government is seriously working to ensure there are qualified instructors.
“We are very fortunate to have a dynamic board chairman who is committed to ensuring no child is left behind in all the 44 inclusive units in the state.”
“A lot has happened since the VOICE project of KIND started, and we have since worked in collaboration with the organisation to ensure no inclusive school is left behind in Lagos state.
“For example, we talked about ramps and afterward, ramps were built at our Lekki Inclusive School. A lot has also been done across all our schools.
“Some teachers are also about to receive their letters of employment,” she said at the event moderated by the Deputy Coordinator, KIND, Ajibola Taiwo.