Festus Fajemilo Foundation, FFF; Human Development Initiatives, HDI; and Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities, JONAPWD-Lagos, have sought to set up a Community of Practice on Inclusive Education in Lagos State, with the aim of harnessing efforts towards the full implementation of Inclusive Education Policy in the State.
To measure the necessity of the community of practice, the groups organized a two day stakeholders’ consultative meeting on the creation of the innovative platform on inclusive education in Lagos state.
Speaking at the event, Kyauta Giwa, representative of ActionAid Nigeria, remarked that, “different efforts are being made by different organizations on Inclusive Education, and it is important to harness them with the aim of driving positive change.”
Giwa noted that Inclusive Education is “still a new concept in Nigeria and we’re on our way to achieving it. The existing Inclusive Education policy in Lagos must be backed with adequate budgetary provisions and that’s the way it can be achieved.”
She thereafter commended HDI, FFF and JONAPWD for leading the conversation to set up the community of practice, “an initiative that would drive much impact on IE in Lagos. With this, Lagos will be a model for other states to learn from.”
Mr. Afolabi Fajemilo, the Executive Director, FFF noted that stakeholders consultation was necessary, to be able to ascertain the importance of setting up the community of practise.
“Once set up, the community of practice would help to concertize efforts and have a common force to achieve the desired change in the Education sector, instead of working in silos.”
On her part, Mrs. Olufunso Owasanoye, the Executive Director, HDI, revealed that the 2030 goal of Inclusive Education might not be achieved in Nigeria, if adequate measures are not taken.
“There is need for strong collaboration among relevant stakeholders to achieve 2030 goal of Inclusive Education for all, in Nigeria and we need to start now.”
Also, Dr. Adebukola Adebayo, Chairman, JONAPWD Lagos, recommended that the current Inclusive Education policy in Lagos State be reviewed, to meet with the current realities as the number of out-of-school children is also increasing.
He also added that, “there is need to strengthen Department of Special and Inclusive Education within the State Ministry of Education and LASUBEB with required human, material and financial resources to manage the affairs of all special and inclusive schools.”