Some civil societies have called on the Nigerian government to give attention to quality education for girls with disabilities as part of its set targets.
The rights’ campaigners noted that many Nigerian girls especially from the Northern region are a major component of the over 10million out-of-school children presently in Nigeria.
One of the civil organisation, Sight Savers, noted that many Nigerian children were also deprived of education due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with majority of the affected persons being girls with disabilities.
“I would like to advocate to the government of Nigeria and civil society organizations to make a strong policy commitment towards social inclusion, specifically on inclusive education. Nigeria is one of the countries with the highest number of out-of-school children in the world thus we need strong commitment on policy change and more funding to ensure all learners with disabilities have access to equitable, quality and accessible learning environment,” Sunday Isiyaku, Country director for the organisation says
According to Sight Savers, 33million persons with disabilities in low income countries are out of school.
The organisation hopes that the figure would be eroded by 2025 when the initial Global Partnership for Education commitments would be due for review.
Risikat Toyin Mohammed, the Executive Director of Women with Disability Self Reliance Foundation, said, “Education is one of the most important aspects for building the capacity of girls with disabilities to lift them out of poverty and empower them to be self-reliant. Girls with disabilities have an equal right to education and we need to work together to realise that.
“By empowering girls and women with disabilities, we are empowering a nation, free from stigma and discrimination.”
Following the ratification of the United Nations Convention on the rights of Persons with Disability (CRPD) in 2007, the Nigerian government did not enact a law prohibiting the discrimination of PWDs until January 2019 – after public pressure prior to the last presidential polls.
Since it signed up to the Marrakesh treaty on the rights to make books and copyright laws accessible as well as inclusive to persons with reading disabilities, a bill to give the articles of the treaty legal standing in Nigeria is yet to be read on the floor of either the Senate or the House of representatives.