FG unveils national draft policy on inclusive education

By The Citizen
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The Federal Government on Monday unveiled a national draft policy on inclusive education in Nigeria.

Mrs Anne Okonkwo, Director Basic and Secondary Education, Federal Ministry of Education, unveiled the policy in Abuja.

Okonkwo said the draft was produced by the ministry in collaboration with Education Sector Support Programme in Nigeria (ESSPIN) and other stakeholders.

She explained that it was developed as a way of attaining equity, justice and equality education in the country.

Okonkwo, who was represented by Mrs Gold Idehen, a Deputy Director, Secondary Education Board in the ministry, applauded all the stakeholders who had developed the policy.

She noted that the document would specifically address issues concerning inclusive education.

'Inclusive education is bringing together different children to learn in the same environment, irrespective of background, socio-cultural status, special learning needs or abilities, among others,'' said Okonkwo.

The director said the federal government was set to put in place modalities that would ensure that more children enrol in schools thereby reducing the teeming population of the out-of-school children in the country.

She stated that inclusive education was concerned with all learners with focus on those that were traditionally excluded from educational opportunities.

The director described the beneficiaries as learners with special needs, orphans, vulnerable children, boys and girls left out of school due to poverty, tradition, culture and insurgency.

She said inclusive education was a process of addressing all barriers and providing access to quality education to meet diverse needs of learners in the same environment.

'Inclusive education does not pretend as if there are no differentiating factors in the children that seek education.

'Rather it is mindful of this diversity and seeks to make sure that it does not become a reason for exclusion.''

Okonkwo added that inclusive education would help rehabilitate and upgrade schools in every state and promote suitable learning experience among the children.

She said the federal ministry of education, ESSPIN and all stakeholders were committed in ensuring that the policy becomes a reality. – NAN.