Wife of the Lagos State governor, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode, has called on Lagosians to promote the integration of the physically challenged students in the larger society.
Mrs. Ambode noted that physical disability did not amount to inability and, therefore, should not in any way incapacitate anyone from achieving success in life.
The wife of the Lagos State governor said this during the International Day for Persons Living with Disabilities held at the Blue Roof, LTV 8,Agindingbi, Ikeja, recently.
According to her, the physically challenged should be provided with the enabling environment to realise their full potentials in all spheres of human endeavours. She called on members of the public to empathise with all special persons living among them, rather than showing sympathy for their conditions.
“We should eschew practices that tend to segregate people at all levels, the practice of denying the physically challenged equal job opportunities should also be discouraged,”
she said The first lady said that given the necessary encouragement and conducive environment, the physically challenged had a lot to contribute to national socio-economic development of the nation.
Mrs Ambode, who was represented on the occasion by the Tutor General/Permanent Secretary, District Five, Mrs. Anike Adekanye, commended the Ministry of Education and
other stakeholders for their efforts at integrating pupils/students living with disabilities
into the society by empowering them with skills and the confidence that would enable them to live meaningful lives to enable them contribute their quota to national growth.
the practice of denying the physically challenged equal job opportunities should also be
The Deputy Governor, Dr. Idiat Adebule, said the theme for this year’s celebration, ‘Achieving 17 Goals for the Future we Want,” had a lot of objectives on achievement of
life’s goals, especially for persons living with disability.
“I am proud to say that of the 17 goals adopted by member nations as sustainable development goals on 25 September, 2015, about half have direct impact on the people
living with disabilities and we have been pursuing them long before now,” Adebule said.
The deputy governor appealed to well-meaning citizens of the state to reach out to the special needs persons in various schools and units, adding that there was the need to join hands with the government in making life more comfortable and meaningful for children and adults in that category, because they deserve quality living standard and equal educational opportunities.
The Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mr. Adesina Odeyemi, said that the Ministry
of Education had five special schools, 31 inclusive education units at the primary education level and 11 inclusive secondary schools to provide education and vocational
skills for challenged pupils/students.
“Apart from the above, the state government created vocational centres in all special
schools and duly equipped them with needed instructional materials and personnel
to help prepare them vocationally towards economic independence. This was done with the mind set of removing the stigma of handicap or beggars from them,” he said.
He urged parents of such children to enroll them at any of the special schools and inclusive units closest to them, rather than hiding them at home. Odeyemi said it was only through exposure such as early identification and intervention that the problem could be alleviated so that they could be useful to themselves and the society in future.
He also urged the general public to embrace people living with disabilities and give them gainful employment opportunities so long as they possess the requisite qualifications.