By Gift Samuel and Gabriel Ameh, The Sight News
Abuja-Following the urgent need to achieve inclusive education in Nigeria, the Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara has disclosed that the future of the country depends on education and as such, all hands must be on deck to ensure the success of inclusive education in Nigeria.
Speaking on Thursday at the 2017 Annual Education Conference in Abuja, Dogara said that more attention should be paid to children who attend school but are excluded from learning, explaining that more than 75 million children of primary school age are not enrolled in schools globally and more than half of them are girls.
The speaker who was represented by the Deputy Chief Whip, Hon. Pally Iriase also called on participants to look into inclusive curriculum with the lenses of innovative strategy, adding that it will address the issues of the child’s development which is based on the four pillars of education which are, learning to know, do, be and to live together.
According to him, “Poverty and marginalization are the major causes of exclusion in most part of the world. The system should ensure retention and completion.It is important to promote inclusive education by simulating discussion and other aspects to cope with new demands in education structures and governance”.
Dogara emphasized that the conference should endeavor to work on how to improve quality education as he assured that the millions of problems bothering education is a concern to them as parliamentarians,adding that they will do all it takes to make education competitive
Earlier, The Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu noted that the Ministry Is poised to make Nigeria an academic model by delivering sound education for the public good and using it to foster the Nigerian citizens to their full potential as well promote strong, democratic egalitarian, prosperous indivisible and indissoluble sovereign nation under God.
Adamu who was represent by the Permanent Secretary, Arc. Sunny Echono, stated that the conference with the theme “Achieving Inclusive Education through innovative strategies”, underscores the fact that learners are central to education and that education should be inclusive for every child, leaving no child behind for any reason.
“This present administration is committed to ensuring that no child is left out- of- School, there is need to ensure those that are within schools are effectively and collectively taken care of even in the light of their individual and peculiar circumstances”.
He emphasized that the management and administration of education has a lot to do with interrelationship and interface between the different tier of government, as he called for synergy, understanding and vibrant regular communication channels to achieve inclusive education.
Also, the Minister of State for Education, Prof. Anthony Anwukah stressed that it is compelling to deploy transparency, efficiency and integrity in the revitalization of existing framework to supporting government in administrative and professional efforts towards achieving inclusive education in the country.
The Minister of State who was represented by the Director Information and Communication (ICT) Ike Orji, further said that inclusive education can be achieved through: Adequate planning which must be proactive and realistic; campaigns to enlighten all stakeholders in the education of children with special need and the exposure of regular teachers to the nature and demands of special needs.
Other ways are; rehabilitating and engaging the adults with disabilities living on the streets; mobilizing people to form more NGOs to pursue the cause of people with special needs, professionals and stakeholders; working towards getting the National Assembly to legislate the creation of special fund for the special programs and education in general.
He further appreciated the invaluable support of stakeholders and Nigerians at large to educational growth adding that it is an indication that education is a societal issue that calls for positive partnership and engagement of all.