260,000 FCT chil­dren with dis­abil­i­ties out of school - Re­port

Daily Trust - - DIGEST - By Joshua Odeyemi

About 260, 000 chil­dren with dif­fer­ent dis­abil­i­ties are not presently re­ceiv­ing ba­sic ed­u­ca­tion in the Fed­eral Cap­i­tal Ter­ri­tory (FCT), re­ports have in­di­cated.

Ac­cord­ing to UNICEF, about 95% of chil­dren with dis­abil­i­ties in de­vel­op­ing coun­tries are out of school and 90% of them may never gain ac­cess to ba­sic ed­u­ca­tion in their life­time.

The FCT cur­rently has a to­tal of seven spe­cial pub­lic and pri­vate schools and learn­ing cen­tres for chil­dren with dis­abil­i­ties with the com­bined en­rol­ment ca­pac­ity of about 2000 pupils.

While speak­ing in a two-day ad­vo­cacy pro­gramme in Abuja, the na­tional project man­ager of the Joint Na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Per­sons with Dis­abil­i­ties (JONAPWD), Deji Ade­me­fun, said most of the spe­cial needs schools in the FCT are sited in very dis­tant lo­ca­tions.

He said some of the schools lack ba­sic in­fra­struc­tures like roads, elec­tric­ity power sup­ply and potable wa­ter.

Ade­me­fun said to tackle the sit­u­a­tion, the FCT au­thor­i­ties must ur­gently make all pri­mary and sec­ondary pub­lic and pri­vate schools in­clu­sive of, and ac­ces­si­ble to all chil­dren in­clud­ing those with dis­abil­i­ties.

A deputy direc­tor at the ed­u­ca­tion secretariat, Jean Onyek­welu, how­ever said the sta­tis­tics quoted in the re­ports may be in­cor­rect as the term ‘dis­able chil­dren’ is more than deaf, dump, blind and dis­abled chil­dren.

She in­sisted that hy­per­ac­tive, ag­gres­sive, low es­teemed chil­dren and those suf­fer­ing from al­binism are all chil­dren with spe­cial needs, not­ing that some of them are presently in reg­u­lar schools in the FCT.

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