‘Prioritise interest of learners with special needs’

The Provost, Federal College of Education, Special, Oyo, Professor Kamoru Usman, on Monday, appealed to stakeholders in the education sector to prioritise the interest of learners with special needs in a bid to boost their potential for quality living and socio-economic development.

He said learners with special needs deserved due consideration by providing them with unfettered access to quality education.

Speaking during an interview with journalists, Usman contended that “government should improve facilities for the disabled as anybody can be in special need arising from unforeseen circumstances anytime.”

According to him, the shortfall in the education sector is a cumulative effect of neglect of the past.

His words: “To me, we are not doing badly really. This is because when some of our products leave this soil they usually perform wonder. That is to say our education sector is still doing fine. The only thing I am personally opposed to is the failure to give room to those who are ready to excel to prove their potential. There should be special funds for scholarship to encourage those who are endowed with special talents.

“In special education, we are not doing enough. It takes three times the cost of training someone without physical disabilities to train someone with special needs. Persons with special needs require assistance to go about. In the past if you had somebody with disabilities you would just go and hide him or her.

“We don’t have enough schools for those with special needs. We have 21 federal colleges of education in Nigeria, eight are technical, 12 are conventional while one is special, and they treat us alike.

“We want the Federal College of Education, Oyo to become a university of education because that is what the people want. Most of our products are endowed for a regular university for further study. Where others take 26 units courses we take 30 in order to accommodate special needs,” Usman added.

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