The Lagos State Government has assured of plans to give children with special needs a sense of belonging by creating a safe place for them to grow and be valuable to the society.
Speaking at the inauguration of the newly built recreational park for Modupe Cole Child and Treatment Home School at Akoka, Yaba, the Deputy Governor, Dr. Idiat Adebule said the state government has put the necessary machinery in motion to improve on the existing model of creating the suitable environment for all children in the state.
Adebule who was represented by the Chairman, State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Dr. Ganiyu Sopeyin said with the construction of the recreational park, the management of the Mary Special Needs Foundation has done well to instil confidence in the children and give them the opportunity to express themselves through sports and other recreational activities.
‘’The project is the best way to continue supporting these special children and make them part of the society. It is an assurance from the government and many organisations and us that we hold you dearly to our hearts and we are constantly thinking of programmes to ensure you live a fulfilled life’’.
“The impact of the occasion is to remind many people that we can continue to support the government in many ways; the construction of the facility should motivate organisations and well-meaning individuals to complement government efforts in making life better and brighter for the citizens.”
While applauding the foundation for touching and imparting lives of the special children, Adebule also appreciated other corporate and religious organisations that have made tremendous contributions to the development of education in the state.
Special Adviser to the Governor on Social Development, Mrs. Joyce Onafowokan said there is no better and noble cause than creating a wonderful future for the less privileged children, adding that nurturing of these special children should be the responsibility of all institutions in the society.She added that the facility provided by the care centre would add value to teaching, learning and recreational activities of the physically challenged pupils in the school and also inspire others to see the need to cater for these children and value their existence.
Director, Administration and Human Resource Mrs Folashade Lediju who represented the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Mrs. Adebunmi Adekanye said in caring for the needs of these special children, the state government is running five special schools, 31 inclusive education units at the primary education level and 13 inclusive secondary schools to provide education and vocational skills for challenged children.
Presenting a paper on the theme: ‘’Changing the world of the person with special needs in institutions’’, Dr. Modupe Olaiya revealed that barriers associated with the safety of special children deserve attention from all stakeholders and decisive action from decision makers is required to change the narrative.