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