Chairman, Lagos State Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Mr. Wahab Alawiye-King, has pledged to involve special education teachers in the production of distance learning content for special needs children while schools remain closed.
Alawiye spoke during a strategy meeting of the board with heads of its 36 special and inclusive schools.
“What we are doing today is to show our determination to fulfil our mandate to provide inclusive education. We are very pleased to know there are individuals and Non-Governmental Organisations willing to help the government achieve quality. Every child has a right to education.
“The teachers’ input would form the crux of the review of the Lagos State policy on Inclusive Education.
“I see no contribution from SUBEB to the Lagos State policy on inclusive education. This document is due for review. Most of the things we are saying from here will form the basis for the review.” he said.
The meeting, held at the SUBEB headquarters in Maryland, also provided an opportunity for the board to get up to date on how the school heads had been communicating with their learners and their parents despite school closures occasioned by the pandemic.
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Giving a breakdown of the number of special needs children in the five special schools and 31 inclusive units attached to mainstream schools, the head of Special Education Unit at SUBEB, Mrs Hilda Twins, said there were 2,947 primary level pupils in the schools with 1,326 having intellectual disability. She said 1,164 have hearing impairment; 86 with autism; 152 are physically challenged; 80 have Down syndrome; 113 learning disabilities; 22, cerebral palsy and four battle speech disorders.
The need for content for special needs learners to feature more instructional materials, promote learning through play and used at a slow pace suitable for them, was emphasized by some of the teachers.
Mrs Basirat Aderonke Femi of GRA Inclusive School, Ojota, said some of her pupils complained the sign language interpreter that features on the television classes of the state government was too fast.
Mrs Olufunke Oshodi from Ibeju-Lekki said e-learning content for special needs learners should be interspersed with videos and instructional materials; while Mr Afolabi Oyebade said the curriculum should be adapted to the learners’ pace.
“Reduce the workload. We have to breakdown the workload of children with intellectual disability. What others can learn in one term, it may take them one year. The goal is not to cover with speed but for them to learn,” he said.
Meanwhile, The National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS) has assured the Federal Government of the readiness of private schools under its fold to resume for the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) and other terminal examinations.