Headline Kaduna Local News

PWDs demand equal access to places of learning

Stakeholders in the education sector have been called upon to work towards ensuring inclusive education for people with disabilities in the country.

The Program Officer Inclusive Education Project in Kaduna State, Mr. Stephen Waya stated this during a one-day media roundtable on inclusive education in the State.

The event was organized by the Kaduna State Chapter of the Joint National Associations of Persons with Disabilities, JONAPWD, in collaboration with Coalition of Associations for Leadership, Peace, Empowerment and Development, CALPED.

Mr. Waya identified difficulty in accessing classrooms, laboratories and offices, as well as communication problem for the hearing and visually impaired; coupled with attitude, perception and intersectional experiences as problems persons with disability face in tertiary institutions.

The aim of the meeting, he said was to ensure that students learn together without any form of discrimination.

Earlier, the State Chairman of the Joint National Associations of Persons with Disabilities, JONAPWD, Mr. Suleiman Abdulazeez, lamented that most tertiary institutions were not accessible to person with disabilities.

He called for equal opportunity and learning environments for all students regardless of their abilities, especially in the area of teaching, curriculum, access to school buildings and other facilities.

Mr. Abdulazeez also called for a total change in the education system through the implementation of relevant policies and laws to ensure inclusiveness, especially for people with disabilities.

For Malam Abdullahi Rilwan, National President, Association of Persons with Physical Abilities in Nigeria, only a few PWDs transited from secondary schools to tertiary institutions because, the facilities, the delivery system and attitude of the education managers were not encouraging.

Responding, the Executive Secretary, Kaduna State Disability Affairs Board, Mr. Aliyu Yakasai, explained that government was doing its best to address their concerns.

He called for effective media sensitization on inclusive education for people with disabilities, explaining that many do not understand the issues, including high ranking government officials and the academia.

Reporting by Teddy Daniel; Editing by Chinasa Ossai and Annabel Nwachukwu