The Ministerial Session of the 67th National Council on Education (NCE), has ratified the reviewed National Policy on Inclusive Education as a working document in Nigeria, following the approval of some major policy decisions that would guide implementation of the education sector in the next one year.
This was contained in a communiqué issued at the end of the 67th council meeting of the NCE on Friday in Lagos, entitled, ‘Addressing the Challenges of Policy Implementation: A Panacea for the Achievement of Education 2030 Agenda’, the NCE is the highest policy making body in the education sector under the chairmanship of the minister of education.
The Council also approved the reviewed National Education Quality Assurance Policy and its implementation guidelines as a working document in Nigeria, and the reviewed National policy on HIV & AIDS for the Education Sector as a National Working document in Nigeria, among other policies.
Similarly, a strategic roadmap to equal access to higher education was also launched.
“The basic thing about education is that everybody should have it; it’s free. But because we are in a place where some persons out of the way they were born cannot attend school or go through the same processes of learning like the others, we have to make sure that those people that are differently abled can have access,” David Adejo, permanent secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, said.
According to him, the reviewed policy on inclusive education seeks to bring everybody in the education sector into a basket, to see how they would be able to get access to quality education.
“We are in a democracy; the NCE is the highest policy making body in the federation. All the commissioners of the states are members, chaired by the minister
“It’s for the states now to decide how to implement the new policy. Do I need a specific policy? And, while that might be necessary for some states, where the level of disability differs,” he said.
Grace Bila, consultant on Inclusive Education, Sightsaver International, said that the implementation of the policy would be the next stage following the approval. “Our aim is to ensure that all learners learn together and have quality and equitable education”, she added.
She noted that the strategy to ensure implementation across States will kick-start early next year, and would involve all the stakeholders including the NEC.
Uche Enyioha, Project Coordinator, Inclusive Education Policy Review, TAF Africa, said inclusive education is a critical part of the wellbeing and welfare of persons with disabilities, and that is why our interest was ensuring the policy got the necessary approval. “We are very delighted that we’ve gotten the approval. This process started sometime late last year”.