ActionAid Nigeria, an NGO, has embarked on policy implementation partnership with the Sokoto State Government towards enhancing inclusive education system in the state.
The Chairman of Technical Working
Group (TWG), Alhaji Musa Gobir, stated this at stakeholders’ forum on inclusive education organised by ActionAid Nigeria in collaboration with another NGO, Rural Women and Youth Development (RUWOYD) on Wednesday in Sokoto.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that it was part of an educational project tagged: “ Tax Justice and Gender Responsive Public Service and Breaking Barrier ”, a project supported by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD).
The project is targeted at ensuring that all children; especially girls and marginalised children, have access to free, quality, publicly-funded, inclusive education at all levels in the state.
Inclusive education means all children to access and fully participate in learning, alongside their similar-aged peers, supported by reasonable adjustments and teaching strategies tailored to meet their individual needs including children with disabilities.
Inclusion is embedded in all aspects of school life, and is supported by culture, policies and every day practices.
Gobir, who is the Permanent Secretary Sokoto State Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, said the policy aimed also at facilitating child friendly education system for physically challenged persons and other vulnerable children.
Mrs Kyauta Giwa, ActionAid Programme Officer, said that the efforts were geared towards expanding inclusive educational infrastructure, teachers’ capacity, management coordination and parents teachers relationship.
Giwa noted that the state government’s budget was targeted at obtaining increased inputs from diverse actors and directed to be gender responsive, especially in relations to girls and marginalised children, women, youth and the vulnerable.
In his presentation, Dr Adedeji Ademefun, the facilitator who led the group into careful scrutiny of drafted document underscored the importance of inclusive education system as ensuring drastic reduction of the percentage of out-of-school children in the country.
Ademefun, who is the Business Development Plan Officer of ActionAid, said at present 13 states had implement inclusive education system and had attracted tremendous achievements in the education sector.
He called for including representatives from state owned Collage of Education and National Teachers Institute (NTI) in order to expand required teachers training grounds that would assist in bridging the manpower gaps on inclusive education system.
“This will strategically improve the implementation of education sector policies, plans, budgets, and accountability mechanisms.
“It will also improve access, equity, inclusiveness, quality and efficiency in basic education, especially for physically challenged children ” he said.
In his remark, Alhaji Mainasara Ahmad, the Sokoto State Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planing, described the policy as relevant in recognition of state population and educational needs.
Mainasara advocated for staggering of budgetary needs to ensure piecemeal implementation of policy for easy recognition by Executives as government had more burdens in others sectors.
NAN reports that forum participants were drawn from academia, Civil Society Organisations, Sokoto State Assembly, officials from Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, SUBEB, traditional institutions and journalists. (NAN)