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By Godwin Oritse

With over 32million Nigerian school children living with disabilities, education experts have said that making digital resources accessible to such student will enhance their learning ability.

Speaking at the end of this year’s edition of EdTech, initiated by Mastercard Foundation, Mr. Funsho Olajide, Executive Director, Disability Not A Barrier, DINAB said that the state and situation of learners with disabilities in Nigeria are quite depressing.

Olajide who was a panelist at the virtual meeting themed “EdTech as an Enabler of Education for Learners with Disabilities’ also said that it will take the efforts of both the public and private sectors, especially in the area of investment and policy development to make it better.

He said: “The status of learners with disabilities in Nigeria is in a deplorable state. While we practice special education here in Nigeria, most developed countries allow mainstream/inclusive education for persons with disabilities. Over the years, the education system for persons with disabilities in Nigeria has been largely underfunded.

“And I believe the lasting solution lies with stakeholders developing less expensive teaching aids, localizing software and applications to accommodate the peculiarities of the learners’ areas, and training personnel on the importance of technology to education.”

Olajide urged policy makers to formulate policies needed to enhance learning for persons with disabilities, adding that the national education policy be reviewed wit a view to accommodating the use of EdTech that will support learners with disabilities.

Also commenting on the development,Head of Program, Disability Rights Advocacy Center, Amaka Ogwu, noted that  poor learning environment  as major challenges affecting learners who are disabled.

Ogwu also suggested that effort should be made by stakeholders in providing tools or resources that are tailored to their needs.

Speaking in similar vein, Mr. Oluwatosin Kolawole, a Bio-Medical Engineer stressed the need to provide capacity building skills on the use of digital resources for both teachers and the learners as this would go a long way to solving the challenges associated with the use of these resources and making learning esay.

Panelists agreed that there is the need for policymakers and government to invest heavily on enabling tools and resources for the disabled persons to enhance their learning.

According to World Health Organization, WHO, out of about 400million African children, 10-15 percent of school going children live with disabilities.  

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