The Federal Ministry of Education on Friday inaugurated the National Policy on Inclusive Education Review Committee to guarantee education for all.
The Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mr David Adejo, said that education was not only about being proactive in identifying barriers and obstacles, but being able to subdue those challenges and get expected outcomes.
According to Adejo, if the right education for all was to be upheld, all learners, irrespective of disability, gender, giftedness or other characteristics must have equal access to quality education.
He said education needed to also meet their basic learning needs, enrich their lives and provide opportunities for life-long living.
Adejo added that to provide access to quality education as well as remoce those barriers that lead to exclusion, effective strategies and actions needed to be taken.
This, he said, was by all relevant stakeholders in providing the enabling environment for all citizens.
Adejo said, “You will recall that government approved the National Policy on Inclusive Education in Nigeria in 2017.
“It is a holistic approach with a unified system in which cognisance was taken of formal, non-formal, segregated and mainstream education.
“However, few years later, the document was found to be deficient in some areas of implementation.
“Its review therefore, becomes necessary to deal with emerging issues, challenges and gaps. It should ensure that the country adopts global best practices to improve lives of learners with disabilities.”
Adejo urged the members of the committee to put in their best towards producing a policy that would be enduring and be used as a reference point by other countries.
He listed the terms of reference for the committee to include the study of existing inclusive education policies, identify emerging issues and gaps not covered.
He listed others to include the development of a draft reviewed policy with a detailed implementation strategy and plan.
It is also to clearly highlighting stakeholders responsibilities and subject the revised draft to a stakeholders consultation process.
Adejo also urged them to produce and submit a final report that would be submitted to the FEC for approval and other incidentals to producing an appropriate National policy on inclusive Education.
Mr Adeoye Adeleye, Director, Education Planning Research and Development and the Chairman of the committee, said they would put in their best to meet up with the obligation.
He said: “We are ready to sacrifice so that at the end of the day we will be able to say that in our own time, we contributed our own quota to the education sector.”
Mr Jake Epelle, Founder, Chief Executive Officer, Albino Foundation and the UN Albinism Ambassador, said Nigeria formulated the second inclusive education policy in Africa six years ago.
Epelle said that there were emerging issues that needed to be included in the policy.
He said that was why the policy review was decided to bring it up to date with global best practices.
Epelle said, “There are technical partners from outside the country and within the country whose job it is to unveil these emerging issues and ensure that they are incorporated in the new policy.
“Some of the issues are the latest technology for learners with disabilities that need to be captured. There are other emerging groups of disability that need to be captured.
“There are several educational systems that relate to inclusivity that need to be part of this policy,
“The implementation guideline needs to be brought up to date to be able to access budgetary allocation.
“This has been the bane of policies because when policies are not properly funded, it becomes moribund.’’
Epelle said that the committee would be strategic and intentional about the review so as to get the desired results.(NAN)