The Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO), a British government influenced humanitarian organization and a Non- Governmental Organization (NGO) known as ‘Youth Resource Development Education and Leadership Center (YORDEL) Africa, with headquarters in Enugu, yesterday concluded a two day training programme for Forty head teachers selected from various schools across the 17 local government areas of Enugu state, on how to adopt ‘Inclusive Education’ in the state.
The Head teachers were trained on the various skills of sign languages, books and equipment to support and teach pupils with special needs (disabilities). They are instructed to transmit the knowledge to teachers in their respective schools, in expectation of co opting inclusive learning in every public school in Enugu state.
The VSO Programme Implementation Lead in Nigeria, Mrs Christabel Omolade, explained Inclusive Education’ is is imbibed in the latest education model of’ ‘Leave No One Behind’, a strategy whereby both the able and disabled children will be enrolled in the same school in pursuit of their education carrier. However, the pupils with special needs will be provided with various learning aids and taught by teachers trained on Sign languages.
She said VSO came up with the initiative aftermath of research findings which proved that children with special needs[disabled] psychologically learn and improve on their defects when they are in the same studying environment with able bodied pupils, than the so called ‘Special Schools’. She lamented that the parents of most kids with special needs[disabled] in the rural areas encounter difficulties in sending those kids to school because they are refused enrollment based on the fact there are no sign language teachers, lack of equipment and even unfavourable government policies which made no provision for them
According to her, VSO is working hard to reverse the trend. She disclosed that the pilot project as conducted in three local governments of Enugu State, namely Aninri, Enugu East and Udenu achieved success. Therefore, the reason for training additional forty head teachers in Enugu state, who will train teachers working under them in their respective public schools. She explained the VSO programme also will accommodate out of school children. She said there is expectation that Enugu state government will make ‘Inclusive Education’ compulsory among public schools in the state,
A National Professional Volunteer on Sign language,,Miss Didigwu Uzoamaka,who is one of the facilitators said the initiative is working out in Enugu state,having successfully conducted the pilot project in Aninri,Enugu East and Udenu local government areas of the state. She disclosed that they have taken an advocacy visit to Enugu State Universal Basic Education Board[ENSUBEB] to adopt inclusive learning in the state public schools education system.
The partnering Non governmental Organization ‘YORDEL AFRICA’,Mrs Grace Ozioko,said the initiative is part of the organizations commitment to ensure every African Child including those with special needs[disability] attain same basic education.
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