By Baban Khalid
The Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) has emphasized the need for inclusive education for women and girls with disabilities, including whether or not segregated schools or inclusive schools are more effective for disabled students.
The centre observed that not all teachers are adequately trained to implement inclusive education practices; hence, effective teacher training is essential to ensuring that all students, regardless of their abilities, receive the support and resources they need to succeed.
The Bauchi CITAD office, in a communiqué after its roundtable discussions on inclusive education for women and children with disabilities, noted with concern that many schools lack the physical infrastructure and accessibility features to accommodate students with disabilities, a situation that creates significant barriers to learning.
The discussions brought together experts, policymakers, educators, women and girls with disabilities to address the critical issue of inclusive education for women and girls with a view to identify challenges, share best practices, and develop recommendations for promoting inclusive education practices.
The communique said, “Access to sign language interpretation is crucial for students who are deaf or hard of hearing. However, sign language interpreters are often in short supply, limiting access to education for these students.”
It was noted with delight that governments play a critical role in promoting inclusive education through policy initiatives, funding, and support for teacher training and infrastructure development, as parents of children with disabilities play a vital role in their children’s education.
“However, some parents may face financial constraints or lack awareness of inclusive education practices.Social Stigma: Stigma associated with disabilities can hinder the acceptance and inclusion of students with disabilities in schools and communities.”
The communique which was signed by Ms Larai Bishams of SUBEB Bauchi, Asma’u Yahya – Executive HDI, and Director WDIDI, Maryam Ahmad on Tuesday also described as very essential the addressing of societal stigma for creating a more inclusive environment.
It stressed the need for equipping students with disabilities with relevant skills for their future employment and independence, saying skills acquisition programs should be integrated into inclusive education curricula.
Participants in the roundtable discussion recommended the provision of comprehensive teacher training on inclusive education practices, ensuring that all teachers have the skills and knowledge to support students with diverse needs.
Communique wants governments to be encouraged to adopt policies and allocate resources to promote inclusive education practices and support teacher training and infrastructure development, as well as provide parents with resources, training, and support to effectively advocate for their children’s educational needs and participate actively in their education.