By Emmanuel Elebeke
Centre for Democracy and Development, CDD has called for the formulation and implementation of deliberate policies of inclusion of IDP’s, Refugees, Returnees and Stateless Persons in the educational sector plan in Nigeria.
The Director, Centre for Democracy and Development, CDD, West Africa, Madam Idiyat Hassan made the call on Thursday at the occasion of the Celebration of ECOWAS Human Rights Day in Abuja.
She said that human rights-based approach in the delivery of education in Nigeria had become imperative in order to ensure equal educational opportunities for all without discrimination or exclusion of persons with disability and those that lack access due to natural of human causes.
In this regards, Hassan urged government of Nigeria to adopt an inclusive dimensions of the right to education, notably through the implementation of the 1960 UNESCO Convention and Recommendation against Discrimination in Education, which provide an international legal framework for the protection of the right to education without discrimination.
‘‘In this regards, government is enjoined to move from the current stop gap policy approaches to a much more direct and sustainable entrenched systems that carter for education in emergency situations.
‘‘There is need for fundamental drive of transformation from Special Education Programs for these class of community citizens to a much more institutionalized National Education Programmes which are designed to fall within both National and ECOWAS regional standardized curriculum for general education of the entire region.’’
In this respect, she solicited for the support of the key Duty-bearers: the Ministries of Education, Humanitarian and Social Affairs in Nigeria to exercise their executive power to come up with dedicated strategic and transformative policies that will create and concretize an institutionalized system, which provides enormous opportunities for Persons with Disabilities, IDP’s, Refugees, Returnees and Stateless Persons to effectively enjoy their right to education, adding that the realization of this goal is hinged on the availability of adequate budgetary allocation and responsible governance in education social and humanitarian sectors.
She further implored the National Human Rights Commissions of Nigeria to work in close collaboration with the Education and Humanitarian/Social Affairs Ministries to ensure that they adopt a human right-based approach in delivery of educational service with a view to ensuring effectiveness and accountability in the enjoyment of education service by these groups of citizens.
In his opening statement, the Executive Secretary of National Human Rights Commission, Tony Ojukwu called on all critical stakeholders to commit to the enforcement of the right to education for persons with disabilities in accordance with the letters and spirit of the law.
Ojukwu who frowned at the non-compliance to the rights of Nigerians to education insisted that all the constitutional provisions for the rights of persons with disability must be observed without discrimination of any form.
In his remarks, the representative of ECOWAS, Emmanuel Okorodudu said the Commission dedicated 2020 for the celebration of the Right to education by less privileged persons and intends to promote same through the year.
He therefore called for immediate return of IDPs back to their homes and urged government to ensure that their education get priority place in the annual budget.
He further called for increased awareness for the return of IDPs and enforcement of their rights.