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IEIEPC decries absence of education standard

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…Holds workshop for teachers on inclusive education

By Ebele Orakpo

PARTICIPANTS at a one day train-the-trainers workshop have been called upon to recognise the uniqueness and difference in behavioural needs of students in creating effective classroom management strategies. The call was made by Professor Olufemi Fakolade, Professor of Special Education at the University of Ibadan while speaking at the workshop organised by the Inclusive Education and Individualised Education Plan Centre, IEIEPC, a non-governmental organisation.

The workshop which held at the International Press Centre, Lagos, covered focus areas such as Best practices for inclusive and special education, Effective teaching strategies for inclusive and special education teachers, Classroom management strategies for children with special needs and Nutrition for special needs children and attracted a total of 50 teachers drawn from the six education districts of Lagos State as well as some private schools.

In his welcome address, IEIEPC Director and convener, Mr. Oyeyinka Oluwawumi, said the workshop was part of coordinated public-private efforts to bridge the knowledge gap and improve the capacity and capability of both special education and regular classroom teachers to facilitate the development of potentials of children with special abilities.

While decrying the absence of a standard national plan, Oluwawumi called for a modified inclusive curriculum capable of guaranteeing a sound future for the affected children.

“We know that disability is not lack of ability to succeed; it only becomes an inability if necessary tools/aids are not maximized. It is quite unfortunate that there is no standard plan in most schools in Nigeria, although some use some timetable. But then, one is obligated to ask what informed the timetable? And if teachers don’t have guides or see good reasons to have a modified curriculum to enable them specially attend to students with disabilities, how on earth do we give these children opportunities to fulfil their dreams and become successful?,” asked Oluwawumi whose only daughter suffers from disability.

In her presentation entitled: Nutrition for Special Needs Children, a nutritionist, Mrs. Ijeoma Ugwu noted that “there is increasing evidence that many children with behavioural problems are sensitive to one or more food components that can negatively impact their behaviour.” She identified those health conditions to include Communication Disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down Syndrome, ADHD, Learning Disorder, Intellectual Disability and Motor Skill Impairments.

In her remarks, an official of the Child Guidance School, Counselling and Special Education Unit in the Lagos State Ministry of Education, Dr. (Mrs) Abolarin Abimbola said: “We at the Ministry level annually organise a Train-the-Trainers workshop for our teachers, but this workshop is expanding the scope to include regular teachers. It also featured a nutritionist who has made us to understand that there are certain foods that affect a child’s ability to learn effectively.  I’m very impressed,” she said.

Other facilitators include Dr. John Olusegun Oyundoyin, an Associate Professor of Special Education and Dr. Isaiah Ojo Olugbenga, from the University of Ibadan.


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