According to news published by Vanguard Newspaper, stakeholders in the education sector have urged President Bola Tinubu to prioritize inclusive education as part of his renewed hope agenda. The call comes in the wake of a gathering organized by the Regalo Hope Foundation, where the theme was ‘Uniting for inclusive education.’ During this education conference, Mrs. Chineye Onora, founder of the foundation, emphasized the significance of inclusive education, defining it as having everyone, irrespective of their abilities, in the same classroom
“The essence of this meeting is to dialogue and impact knowledge through informed conversation. Inclusive education means having everybody in the same classroom. We do not believe that people with disabilities should be separated from normal people,” Mrs. Onora stated.
She further stressed the need for policies that enforce educational inclusivity and proposed penalties for schools that fail to comply. “Schools that close their gates against special children should be fined and punished,” she added.
An inclusion strategist and researcher from the University of Lagos, Aghedo Akran, highlighted the importance of the Edustake conference as a convergence of education sector stakeholders. He pointed out the challenge in implementing inclusive education despite the global push for it. “Maybe that’s why we still have out-of-school children across the country because there are children from diverse backgrounds who are not integrated into school, so they remain at home,” Akran noted.
He also emphasized the necessity for a shift in the education system, stating, “We cannot get it right if we keep doing things the normal way. Educators and stakeholders in education must be receptive to innovation and change.”
The plea for inclusive education aligns with Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), emphasizing inclusive and equitable education for all. Aghedo Akran suggested that the nation’s policy should reflect the SDG goals, emphasizing that inclusion is vital for the growth of the education sector.