Team Leader, Daughters of Charity Hope Centre for Inclusive Education, Kubwa, Abuja, Rev. Sister Sylvia Anyanwu, has indicated that children with special needs also have rights which must be protected.
She stated this at an event organised by the school held in Abuja on Saturday as part of activities to mark the 2022 International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD).
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Dec. 3, every year is celebrated globally as international day of persons with disabilities.
The theme for this year is “Transformative Solutions for Inclusive Development: The role of Innovation in Fuelling an Accessible and Equitable World.”.
In her remarks, Anyanwu said that children with special needs were gifts from God which many don’t recognise.
“We join the whole world to celebrate
international day of persons with disabilities.
“In the whole world today, societies, NGOs, special schools and inclusive schools are celebrating the talents of our children with special needs.
“We are celebrating the gifts that the Lord God has given to us in our society. The gifts that many people do not recognise.
“These children are beautifully made, specially carved on God’s palm.
“These children have rights and these rights should be respected. They have rights to be educated; they have rights to be heard.”
The Rev. Sister stated that the school which was established in 2003 having different units to serve the needs of the children including the therapeutic and speech training units and educational empowerment using Montessori method.”
Speaking on the theme of this year, Anyanwu said that the theme was apt as the school had already started incorporating the use of technology.
“Formally this school was just school for children with special needs but we have taken it further to have it as an inclusive education which takes care of all categories of children with special needs
“We have children with hearing impairment, down syndrome, autism and normal children with normal intelligence so that the children will interact with each other and be able to help each other.”
She further said that for the young adults of the school, “we have vocational skills where they learn how to make liquid soap, coconut oil and fishery.”
The team leader, however, said that the school was faced with challenges of fund.
She called on governments and NGOs to support the fund to enable them do more for the children and pay staff salary.
On his part, Chairman, Parents Teachers’ Association (PTA) Mr Charles Ekwere urged parents to enroll their children with special needs in such schools as some “hide such children at home.
“Let the parents understand there is ability in disability. They are special gift from God, they are doing more harm if they hide them.
“When they bring them to school they will interact with others, they will learn, they have potentials and talents, they need to be in the society to exhibit what God has given them to share.”
NAN also reports that the annual observance of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) on Dec.3 was proclaimed in 1992 by the United Nations General Assembly resolution 47/3.
The observance of the Day aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilise support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities.(NAN)