Pupils of Pacelli School for the Blind has for the third consecutive time emerged as the overall winner of the yearly quiz competition organized by Lagos State Office for Disability Affairs (LASODA), to promote healthy academic competition between pupils of regular schools and their counterpart in Special schools.
Speaking at the event, the Commissioner for Youth and Social Development, Mr. Agboola Dabiri said that the outcome of the competition was a confirmation that special people are not intellectually inferior to their colleagues in the regular school.
According to him, the popular saying that “there are abilities in disabilities” succinctly complement the result of the competition.
Agboola, who was represented at the event by the Director of Administration and Human Resource, Mrs. Yewande Falugba added that the competition also shows that the investment of the state government in Persons Living with Disabilities (PLWDs), through the provision of an inclusive enabling environment that will aid their educational career was becoming more evident and fruitful.
He noted that the educational career of persons living with disabilities can no longer be hindered by financial incapacitation as the education for PLWDs is free in the State for all children with a disability up to tertiary institution.
“It is hoped that this should boost the ratio of educated PWDs in our society and drastically reduced the number of urchins on our street begging for alms,” she said.
He recalled that the Lagos State Ministry of Education recently held a stakeholders’ meeting on new education reform policy where LASODA was invited for input to the policy in the aspect of special education, adding that the situation is similarly being replicated across other government’s parastatals that are now engaging LASODA in critical areas of decision making.
He used the occasion to appeal to parents of children with disability not to abandon them but rather give them greater encouragement to see them through an academic system and lead normal like everyone else.
The General Manager of LASODA said the programme was in line with the Lagos State Special People’s Law Section 33 Sub Section 5 which stipulates that LASODA will design a programme of activities that will promote interaction between PLWDs and other members of the society.
On the quiz competition, the General Manager explained that the standard in terms of curricular and timing was quite the same used for their peers in regular schools and class.
The only situation where there are few modifications is not because of any mental defects but because of their peculiar natures. For instance, questions have to be sign – communicated to pupils with hearing impairments by sign interpreters while some have speech difficulties in answering questions
, he said.
At the end of the competition, GRA Primary Inclusive School, Ogudu Ojota came second while New Oko-Oba Primary School, Agege won the 3rd position.