I wish to urge our newly elected governments in Nigeria at all levels to embrace inclusion and evidence-based practices in the education sector.
Inclusive education is not only a moral obligation but also a legal requirement under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which Nigeria ratified in 2007.
Unfortunately, many children in Nigeria are still excluded from the educational system due to their disabilities, socioeconomic status, or other factors. This is unacceptable in a country that aspires to be a leader in Africa.
I must emphasize that inclusive education is not just about placing students with disabilities in mainstream classrooms but also about creating a supportive and accessible learning environment that meets the needs of all students.
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This requires a shift from the traditional teacher-centered approach to a student-centered approach that recognizes and celebrates diversity.
The importance of evidence-based practices in education which involves using research and data to inform teaching and learning cannot be overemphasised.
I believe that evidence-based practices can help improve the quality of education and ensure that all students receive the support they need to succeed.
I urge the newly elected government at all levels to prioritize inclusive education and evidence-based initiatives in its policies and programs. This will benefit not only students with disabilities but also all students and society as a whole.
Governments must prioritize inclusive education policies and enact evidence-based initiatives to ensure that students with special needs receive a quality education. One way to achieve this is by allocating adequate infrastructure and capacity-building resources.
Additionally, at the school level, priority should be given to the use of assistive technology, evidence-based teaching practices, specialized instructional techniques, as well as individualized educational plans that address the needs of our students
Dr Emmanuel Taiwo, a Washington DC-based expert, wrote via: [email protected]