The Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities is implementing a project on the Advocacy and Capacity Strengthening of Young Persons with Disabilities on Inclusive Education Frameworks in Nigeria.

The States being covered are Kaduna, Bauchi, Cross River, Anambra, Ondo, and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The aforementioned states represent the 6 geo-political zones in Nigeria.

As part of its effort to achieve its goal on the project, it has embarked on various advocacy visits from late 2022. One of it's most recent advocacy was on Vision FM 92.5, Kaduna State.

The topic of discussion was about "The duty bearers and their role in implementing Inclusive Education Policies and the costs in relation to Inclusive Education"

The objectives of the program was to examine the roles of the duty bearers  in implementing Inclusive Education Policies, to scrutinize steps taken by the duty bearers as a result of the Inclusive Education project in Kaduna State, and to examine the cost of Inclusive Education and encourage parents and students with disabilities to enroll in the next session of academic year in tertiary Institutions.

On the live radio program, key relevant stakeholders discussed the roles of the decision making bodies in implementing Inclusive Education Frameworks and the cost and challenges parents of children with disabilities face around the Inclusive Education process.

The SCALE Program Officer described the radio program as an Inclusive Education Project that focuses more on inclusivity of students with disabilities whose rights and welfare has been neglected and excluded over the years.

He further explained that USAID is supporting Kaduna and 4 other states including Abuja in Nigeria as a result of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Reforms, Policies and Laws in Nigeria and other states have demonstrated inclusivity.

The Head of Department Training from Disability Affairs Board Mrs. Hajara Silas Bala, described inclusive education as a system of education that involves children with and without disabilities to learn in the same environment. She further explained the role of the Disability Affairs Board as a watch-dog and coordinating agency that monitors and ensures all MDAs involve Persons with Disabilities in planning and implementation of programs and interventions.

The HOD mentioned that the Government is working closely with other relevant stakeholders towards addressing all barriers that all learners encounter in the school environment regardless of their status or ability. She further explained the different types of disabilities with a diverse approach to Inclusive Education.

A parent of a student with disability, Mr. Girgir Thomas shared experiences he had trying to raise his child who later dropped out of school due to COVID-19 Global Economy shock. He further explained that currently, his wife has stopped working in order to take care of their disabled daughter at home.

The HOD advised the parent to bring the child to the Disability Affairs Board and register her. The HOD also explained that the agency is saddled with the responsibility to design and create programs that will develop all children with disabilities to be self-reliant and as well contribute their quota to the development of the state.

The HOD said that the Disability Affairs Board is working closely with all stakeholders/MDAs that has responsibilities of institutionalizing Inclusive Education in Kaduna State such as Ministry of Education, Planning & Budget Commission (PBC), State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) etc to ensure that all learners experience conducive learning environment.

The Program Officer also mentioned that the support and coordination of the Disability Affairs Board and Ministry of Education has led to the draft of Inclusive Education work Plan with key relevant stakeholders. He also commended Bureau of Statistics, especially the Statistician General for fulfilling the commitment he made during JONAPWDs Advocacy visit to work with the team and other stakeholders to develop an Inclusive and comprehensive Template that will inform the State Annual School Census and other related Data in Kaduna State.

The HOD of training called on parents and children with disabilities to take advantage of Inclusive education and enroll in the next session to complement the effort of stakeholders championing Inclusive Education Framework in Kaduna State and beyond.

Mr Girgir Thomas advised parents to stop hiding their children inside the house. He encouraged parents to be proud of their disabled children and bring them out for inclusive development. 

The program officer commended efforts of USAID and Palladium for the successful implementation process of Inclusive Education Project. He also placed an urgent call for State and non-State Actors to join hands to advance inclusive Education in Kaduna State.

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