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Why persons with disability must be educated

Persons with disability, otherwise known as differently-abled individuals, encounter immense challenges that leave them at the mercy of socio-economic underdevelopment. Due to their disabilities, they…

Persons with disability, otherwise known as differently-abled individuals, encounter immense challenges that leave them at the mercy of socio-economic underdevelopment. Due to their disabilities, they often struggle to survive. Those with profound physical challenges, especially blindness, spinal cord injury, leprosy, cerebral palsy, among others cannot but resort to financial dependency to survive. 

Consequently, street begging, which is considered taboo in some societies, is rampant among persons with disabilities no thanks to the lack of governmental and societal support towards their welfare. 

Apart from persons with hearing impairment, majority of persons with disability depend on begging to survive as they are not physically fit to do menial jobs to earn a living. 

What is more worrisome, to say the least, is the fact that many persons with disability who are raising families, struggle to feed their families. Some would have to go to big cities where people are more charitable to do begging and return home as soon as they are financially able to. 

In some cities like Lagos and Abuja, where many persons with disability make substantial income, the ban on street begging has been imposed. Their source of livelihood, hence, is adversely affected. 

Although street begging is a condemnable practice, the imposition of such ban without proffering any remarkable resolution to it is seriously unfair and  almost cruel.  

Even though this lingering problem can be resolved through the establishment of Social Security Disability Benefits, the needs of persons with disability cannot be totally satisfied, no thanks to Nigeria’s economic challenges and bad leadership. 

Therefore, in order to become financially, economically and intellectually independent, all persons with disability should be educated as disability is no longer, since the inception of special education in Nigeria in the middle of nineteenth century, a barrier to education. 

Government at all levels should do everything possible to make education accessible for all persons with disability. More special schools should be constructed and especially equipped in the vicinity where there is a dozen number of persons with disability. 

Parents, who have children with disability should dispel the negative myths that persons with disability have no future and will have nothing to give them back if they send them to school. They should send them to school at any price as education offers them valuable and useful opportunity that will help them to break the barriers that lie on their path. 

Education should be made compulsory for all persons with disability. When all persons with disability are educated, life will become easy for them. Education turns disability to ability. 

Persons with disability who are educated aren’t likely to engage in street begging. Even if they are unemployed, believe me, they won’t. They are likely to start their own business. 

 

Ibrahim Tukur is a 400L deaf student at Bayero University Kano and can be reached via [email protected]

 

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