Wife of the Lagos state governor, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu has said that the first public school with a ramp specially designed for physically challenged students, in Ohombo, Ajah, has been completed.
Sanwo-Olu said this in her address at the 2022 International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) event held on Friday, at Police College, Ikeja.
The governor’s wife was represented by Mrs. Olufunmilayo Omotoso, wife of the state Commissioner for Information and Strategy.
She said that the project was in partnership with the Lagos State Special Committee on Rehabilitation of Public Secondary Schools, built to facilitate easy movement of the students living with disabilities.
“In today’s world, our society has come to the realisation that physical disability is not inability, therefore, people with disabilities should not be incapacitated from achieving something positive in life.
“These people living with physically disability have talents, they must therefore be provided an enabling environment to realise their full potential in all spheres of human endeavor.
“This is the crux of this celebration today, which is designed to champion the cause of persons with disabilities, an initiative that which has been sustained yearly by the ministry of education.” she said.
The 2022 theme for IDPD is ‘Transformative Solutions for Inclusive Development, the Role of Innovation in Fueling an Accessible and Equitable World’.
Sanwo-Olu called on stakeholders to continue to embrace initiatives that would empower people living with disabilities.
She said it would enable them to contribute positively and immensely to the socio-economic development of the state and country at large.
According to Sanwo-Olu, the Committee of Wives of Lagos State Officials (COWLSO) has keyed into the vision.
She said that this year’s theme could not be downplayed considering the fact that the world had become a global village in which technology made it easier for information to travel faster.
“There is a need to take advantage of technological advancement in promoting the rights and social inclusion of persons with disabilities,” she said.
The governor’s wife commended the ministry of education for initiating and sustaining the initiative.
“We must continue to challenge all forms of stereotypes and discrimination against persons living with disabilities; it is our collective duty as a people.”
Speaking, the state Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Folashade Adefisayo, emphasised on the need for stakeholders to continue to look for solutions that are innovative and transformative.
Adefisayo said that the state had inclusive schools with some teaching staff who are also living with disabilities.
“There are so many policy and practices in the state that encourage children with special needs to continue to achieve.
“This day was set aside to appreciate them because there is ability in disability.
“We recognise the fact that every child deserves the best, irrespective of their challenges and this is what we are emphasising and practicing that no child should be left behind.
“I really appreciate and commend the teachers for their efforts, particularly in molding the lives of children with special needs and ensuring that they continue to learn,” she said.
The Commissioner advised parents with such children to encourage them and ensure they get educated so that they can get knowledge and discover their potential.
The programme featured march pass, carnival display, playlet and dance by special needs pupils and students drawn from the various inclusive schools in the state.
Awards were given to individuals, including Adefisayo, and organisations in recognition of their support to the growth and development of special education in the state.