The cost and other challenges that Students with Disabilities and their parents face are enormous.

Thus, this is one of the reasons why campaigns for Inclusive Education Education keeps building.

JONAPWD was live on radio to discuss ‘The Cost of Inclusive Education’ in Ondo, Bauchi, Anambra, Kaduna, Cross River State Chapters, and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The purposes of the campaign was to examine the cost of education by students with disabilities and the parents of students with disabilities in education, to encourage school administrators and management and the public to create a safe space for persons with disabilities to access free education, and to raise awareness of the plight of students with disabilities and advocate  favorable policies for them. 

In each States’ radio program, the guests included a parent of a student with disability and a student with a disability who aired their views.

In Anambra State, the parent of a child with a disability was happy with the Inclusive Education in the State and mentioned that it is amplifying their voices on the difficulty that they are faced with in sending their children to school. The second discussant was a student with visual impairment who is studying History and International Study at Unizik. He has committed to mobilizing other students to demand their rights from the school management.

In Bauchi State, Tahir Abdullahi, a graduate from the University of Maiduguri who is also a person with visual impairment explained how his parents’ support contributed to his successful pursuit. He advises parents to avoid showing differences between children with and without disabilities. Malam Aliyu Yaro who is the father of visually impaired children explained the procedures adopted by him to ensure the success of his children ‘s education. He mentioned that two of his children are in various tertiary institutions and are performing excellently. Part of the steps taken by him include: Motivating the children, and telling them that disability is not a barrier to their success.

In Cross River State, Kelvin Oyor Okey, a final year student with a disability in the Department of Special Education, University of Calabar expressed challenges that students with disabilities face which include: Inaccessibility to lecture rooms and staff offices and stigmatization which dampens their morales as students with disabilities on campus. Mrs Angela Ogbaji, a parent of a child with a disability pointed out that the cost of transporting her son to and fro, especially in this season of fuel subsidy removal, has been a big challenge. She mentioned that since her son has an intellectual disability, there are no experts to help him understand while teaching, so she ends up paying for extra teaching and at times, hires more teachers to teach her son. She said that there are no support facilities in the school for her son.

In Kaduna State, the President of the Association of Students with Disabilities KASU Chapter, Iyke Ikechukwa, mentioned that he only had inclusive education when he was promoted to 300 level in Kaduna State University through engagement with JONAPWD under the Inclusive Education Project in Kaduna State. He also spoke on the challenges students with disabilities face in trying to acquire inclusive education. He identified a series of challenges such as a lack of ramps, sign language interpreters, braille machines, and other assistive technology etc.

Still in Kaduna, the success stories recorded as a result of the inclusive education project in Kaduna State are the sustainable structures put in place to institutionalize inclusive education such as the establishment of the Association of Students with Disabilities KASU Chapter, the creation of the office and the appointment of the Disability Desk Officer by the Vice Chancellor KASU, the draft of the Inclusive Education Plan with relevant stakeholders, the 400 level student of Ahmadu Bello University that volunteered with JONAPWD under the Project in Kaduna State.

At the end of the program in each of the piloting states, the Program Officers encouraged those who have children or wards with disabilities at home to bring them out and enroll them in schools in the new academic session, the measures to mitigate the challenges faced by students with disabilities were mentioned and the state government, heads of institutions, and lawmakers were called upon to look into ways of reducing costs related to inclusive education, especially to the students with disabilities in our tertiary institutions.

The programs were aired on the following stations:

  • Crest FM106.5 Akure, Ondo State
  • Bauchi Radio Corporation (BRC). Frequency modulation 94.6
  • ABS 88.5 FM (Anambra Broadcasting Service)
  • Vision FM 92.5 ( Kaduna)
  • Hit FM 95.9 Radio Calabar, Cross River State

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