Stakeholders ratify master plan for Edo and hail Obaseki’s commitment – Nigerian Observer

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Benin city – A non-governmental organization under the umbrella of the Network for the Advancement of Persons with Visible Disabilities (NAPVID), alongside other key stakeholders, has developed a master plan to guide the inclusive education system in the state of ‘Edo.

Stakeholders at a one-day meeting held Thursday at the Bishop Kelly Pastoral Center in Benin ratified a 10-year disability-focused document that was developed during a 3-day workshop held recently May 10-12 at the Chief John Odigie-Oyegun Personnel Training Center in the state capitol.

The workshop, organized by NAPVID and the Edo State government, was to chart a strategic roadmap for the education of every child, regardless of disability and location in the state.

Welcoming attendees to Thursday’s event, NAPVID Executive Director Barr Melody Omosah pointed out that various laws and government policies recognize education as a right, therefore, it is compulsory for every child, especially at his or her basic stage of life.

According to him, NAPVID has taken responsibility for helping the state government to have a policy document on inclusive education, adding that Governor Godwin Obaseki is keen to invest in education for people with disabilities.

“In our pledge, he (Obaseki) repeated several times that the government was ready to invest in the education of people with disabilities; so if we have a governor who has the political will, then what we need to do is show him how to go about this investment;

“and that led us to bring together stakeholders from all walks of life who have a role to play in raising children to bring our thoughts and ideas together, to create synergy and to send to the governor that this is what we think government needs to do if education will be possible for every child,” Omosah remarked.

Omosah, who lamented the lack of special schools in the 18 local government areas, insisted on Article 4 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals which mandates the state to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education as well to promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.

Other speakers include Professor Fakolade Aremu from the University of Ibadan, who presented the draft policy document codenamed DIESTRES, an acronym for Disability Inclusive Education Strategic Roadmap for Edo State.

The highlight of the meeting was the brainstorming discussions and validation of the policy document by stakeholders including Ministry of Education, Ministry of Budget and Planning, State Council for Universal Basic Education (SUBEB), among others.

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