The Ogun State Government says it will not relent on its oars in supporting the needy and the physically challenged students in the State, as they have their role to play in the development of the State and the entire nation.
The State Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Prof. Abayomi Arigbabu made this known at this year’s International Wheelchairs Day Celebration, at the Daniel Akintonde Model School for Children with Special Needs, Adigbe, Abeokuta, during which the State Government donated over 20 wheelchairs to the needy students.
Speaking on the theme of the celebration, “Breaking the Barrier” Prof. Arigbabu said it was a clarion call for all to pay more attention to the expression of the needs of people with disabilities, in order to make them self-reliant and inclusive in the day to day activities of the society.
He described people, especially school children living with disabilities as treasure and wonderful gifts from God, positing that they should be supported and nurtured to bring out the hidden abilities they are endowed with.
The Commissioner, therefore, called on persons and organizations to complement government’s efforts in alleviating poverty and other discriminatory practices that could inhibit the progress of such persons.
“The State government is determined to make life easier and comfortable for children living with disabilities. The government, despite economic challenges, has prioritised issues pertaining to the education and general welfare of special needs people, through increment in the fund for the feeding of learners with special needs, resuscitation of Braille book production centre and supply of interactive whiteboards with other gadgets to schools, among others”, Arigbabu said.
In her goodwill message, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mrs. Abosede Ogunleye said the celebration was to raise awareness and lend helping hands to millions of people with special needs, towards ensuring equal exposition to diverse opportunities, motivate and provide succor which would make life easier for them.
She advocated that wheelchair users needed to be treated with empathy, patience, endurance and due recognition for effective participation and sense of belonging.
In his remarks, the Chairman, Joint Association of Persons Living with Disabilities, Dr. Lekan Mohammed appreciated the Ministry for organising the event, soliciting more support from both the government and philanthropists to make life more comfortable for them.
Speaking on behalf of other parents of the children, Mrs. Temitope Salako and Sherifat Adebiyi commended the State government for the donations and for its laudable initiative in education.