Special Needs Education Bill to be proposed to National Assembly

The Gist

A bill to provide special needs education to children with developmental needs is to be proposed to the National Assembly.

Mrs Amina Abubakar Atiku made this known during the 10th Anniversary of the Hope House initiative (HHI), an institution which provides educational support for children with special needs.

Why’s this important?

The bill wants to extend the functions of the Universal Basic Education Commission Act to provide special needs education for children with learning difficulties. Right now it covers only Early Childhood Care, Primary and Junior Secondary Education. It doesn’t cover one of the most vulnerable section of our society.

If the bill’s passed what will it do?

In Mrs Atiku’s words:

“A bill of this nature, when passed will ensure dedicated budgeting,provision of infrastructure,staffing and variety of programmes which shall be most beneficial to children with down syndrome and their families,”

What are some of the issues that Special Needs Education faces?

Mrs Atiku knows about these issues because of the initial challenges that HHI faced:“It was challenging, when Hope House School started. Teachers and administrators were needed who were challenged by not being trained for educating children with special needs, not to mention chal­lenges parents of our children face every day.“Funds were needed and this challenge was not alleviated by government, as we were not fortunate to receive grant, but by philanthropic organisations like Intel, Salini Nige­ria Limited and so many others, as well as individuals, who became our friends over the years, without their assistance, we would have found it difficult to reach this anniversary.”

Photo Credit: Creativity+ Timothy K Hamilton via Compfight cc