Federal Ministry of Education (FME), has inaugurated the National Policy on Inclusive Education Review Committee to guarantee education for all in the country.
At the forum in Abuja, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mr David Adejo, explained that the review of the National policy became necessary to deal with emerging issues, challenges and gaps identified in the system.
According to Mr Adejo, promoting inclusive education for all entails that all learners, irrespective of disability, gender, gifted or other characteristics must have equal access to quality education.
“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. This review should ensure that the country adopts global best practices to improve lives of learners with disabilities.’’
While listing some terms of reference for the committee to include; study of the existing inclusive education policy, identify emerging issues and implementation strategy plan, Adejo added that the final copy of the report would be submitted to the FEC for approval.
Responding Director, Education Planning, Research and Development Mr Adeoye Adeleye, who is also the Chairman of the committee, assured that the committee would put in their best to meet with the task.
Chief Executive Office of the Albino Foundation TAF Mr Jake Epelle, who explained that Nigeria formulated the second inclusive education policy in Africa six years ago, said the policy review was decided to bring it up to date with global best practices.
Ekpelle 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 several educational systems that relate to inclusivity that need to be part of this policy as well and the implementation guideline needs to be brought up to date to be able to access budgetary allocation”.
According to him, when policies are not properly funded, it becomes moribund. “The committee would be strategic and intentional about the review so as to get the desired results.
Julian Osamoto EDITED BY GRACE NAMIJI