STRENGTHENING INCLUSIVE EDUCATION THROUGH COOPERATIVE TEACHING IN LAGOS STATE.
Lagos State government implements a policy on inclusive education and currently operates about 50 inclusive primary and secondary schools.
Recent assessment of the implementation of inclusive education in Lagos State indicates a significant inadequacy of the required teaching and non-teaching personnel. This has made the delivery of inclusive education very difficult and less impactful as the few available special teachers are virtually overstretched and unproductive.
Unfortunately, none of the tertiary educational institutions in Lagos state provide any teacher training programmes in special/inclusive education. In addition, there are very few teacher training tertiary educational institutions in Nigeria which provide degree and NCE programmes in special education. This makes it very difficult to find qualified special education practitioners to meet the huge demand for special teachers and other required specialists to serve the growing population of children with disabilities in Lagos State.
It has therefore become pertinent to use this project to demonstrate innovative approaches to engage existing mainstream teachers within the State Teaching Service to support the provision of inclusive education on short-term basis, while expecting the state government will be able to make deliberate long-term efforts to support tertiary educational institutions in Lagos state build capacity to provide degree and NCE programmes in Special/Inclusive education.
The key objectives of this intervention include—
- To map and identify inclusive schools with significant inadequacy in required teaching and non-teaching personnel.
- To identify and profile mainstream teachers who are willing to support the inclusive education activities in their schools.
- To appraise the attitude of regular and special education teachers towards the implementation of inclusive education in Lagos state through Focus group discussion.
- To train and deploy mainstream teachers on the basic skills required to support inclusive education activities in their schools.
To achieve the above objectives, the following activities will be implemented—
- Conduct of advocacy visits to relevant MDAs for the purpose of seeking partnership and support;
- Conduct mapping and human & material resource needs assessment of all-inclusive primary and secondary schools in Lagos State;
- Conduct focus group discussion (FGD) among regular and special education teachers
- Conduct mapping of mainstream teachers for the purpose of identifying those interested in the inclusive education programme;
- Develop guidelines/manual for the deployment and involvement of mainstream teachers in the inclusive education programme;
- Conduct training of mainstream and special education teachers on strategies for collaboration and support for the implementation of inclusive education;
- Conduct monthly and quarterly monitoring and evaluation of the project;
- Conduct Annual Learning Summit for mainstream and special education teachers, officials of MDAs, and other stakeholders for the purpose of knowledge and experience sharing, professional development and policy improvement;
It is envisaged that the following outcomes will be achieved at the end of the project—
- 36 mainstream teachers are trained to support inclusive education activities in 12 inclusive primary and secondary schools;
- There is reasonable improvement in learning outcomes of children with disabilities in the inclusive schools;
- Continuous knowledge and experience sharing among stakeholders which will help to replicate good practices across all inclusive schools and the entire education system in Lagos State.
- More children with disabilities enroll in public inclusive schools
Inclusive education is said to be the best way to maximize the use of scarce education resources especially with regards to the inadequate teaching and non-teaching personnel. Accordingly, the strategic engagement of mainstream teachers to support inclusive education activities in their schools will be a very innovative use of scarce human and material resources in Lagos State.
The success of this project will therefore set new standards for the practice and processes of inclusive education especially in less developed jurisdictions where it has been difficult for government to engage required number of teaching and non-teaching personnel for the proper implementation of inclusive education.
This project is being implemented by the consortium of Festus Fajemilo Foundation (FFF), Join National Association of Persons with Disabiliities (JONAPWD) Lagos state Chapter and Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent De Paul (DC).
PROFILE OF CONSORTIUM MEMBERS
FESTUS FAJEMILO FOUNDATION (FFF):
Festus Fajemilo Foundation (FFF) is a disability-focused non-governmental organization which is largely based in Lagos state, but which has had reasonable outreach and impact in few other States in Nigeria.
The organization was established in 2006, and it is the pioneer NGO in Nigeria advocating for & promoting the rights of persons impacted by spina bifida and hydrocephalus (SBH). As part of our objectives and activities, we create awareness and increase public education on SBH, provide direct support to affected children and youngsters for their empowerment. promoting primary prevention and advocacy for enabling environment.
FFF was originally set-up to advocate for the rights and inclusion of children with spina bifida and hydrocephalus in Nigeria. However, through partnerships and collaboration with local and international organizations, the Foundation has been largely mainstreaming advocacy for the rights and inclusion of persons with disabilities in general especially in such areas as education, health, etc.
JOINT NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES (JONAPWD):
The Joint National Association of Persons with
Disabilities (JONAPWD) is the umbrella body of and for all disability groups
and organizations in Nigeria; established in 1998 with the sole aim of
promoting inclusion, access and participation of persons with disabilities in
all sectors and spheres of life in the society. The association is duly
recognized by and has been working with governments in Nigeria at national,
state and local levels, and the UN
and other major international development partners.
JONAPWD is duly registered in all the 36 states and the FCT-Abuja and in several Local Government Councils across the country. The Association is managed at national, state and local levels by elected members. The current Executive Council of the Lagos State Chapter of the Association was elected in October 2019. Pursuant to its aims and objectives, the Lagos State Chapter of JONAPWD intends to establish strategic partnership with relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the Lagos State Government with a view to supporting government’s efforts towards achieving effective inclusion, access and participation of persons with disabilities in all policies and programs of the State government.
DAUGHTERS OF CHARITY (DC):
The Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent De Paul was founded in 1633 in France, for the service of people who are poor and most marginalized in society, without discrimination of culture, race, gender or religion. In Nigeria, the Daughters of Charity was established in 1963 as a faith-based NGO, with its Provincial House in Eleme, Rivers State. People and especially children and youngsters with disabilities, form a high proportion of the poor and most neglected in society and are at the core of the services of the Daughters of Charity. The services currently provided in Nigeria by the Daughters of Charity are in the areas of health, (inclusive) education, pastoral ministry, livelihood, sustainability, development and empowerment programmes, social integration, and justice and peace.
As a Strategic Partner Organization of the Dutch based Liliane Foundation and in collaboration with 27 local partner organizations in Nigeria, the Daughters of Charity implement the “Child Empowerment” programme which concentrates on the life areas that are crucially important for every person according to the World Health Organization’s Community Based Rehabilitation matrix: (health, education, work and income, a social life and self-empowerment).
Through the twin-track approach of “Child Development” and “Enabling Environment” the programme facilitates the improvement of the functional capabilities of children and youngsters with disabilities, including medical and paramedical rehabilitation, education and livelihood opportunities. Children and youngsters with disabilities are equipped with education and skill development to enable them to take up jobs and earn a living in the future, contributing to greater resilience. The programme also facilitates the removal of infrastructural, behavioural and policy barriers that prevent them from participating in society, through awareness raising, advocacy, networking and collaborating with relevant government and non-governmental stakeholders, families and communities and organizations of persons with disabilities.