Nigeria must play key role in inclusive education – NTI boss

Nigeria needs to play an active role globally in increasing advocating inclusion and inclusive education for its citizens, the Director and Chief Executive, National Teachers’ Institute (NTI), Kaduna, Professor Musa Garba Maitafsir, has said.

Addressing the opening ceremony of a two-day workshop on ‘’Designing of a General Studies Curriculum on Inclusive Education,’’ Wednesday at the SMASE Hall, NTI headquarters, Kaduna, Professor Maitafsir said, “There is the need to improve the quality of teaching and learning in Nigerian schools by providing variety of learning experiences for teachers and learners through equipping regular classroom teachers with inclusive education skills.”

While reflecting from UNESCO, 2001 report, Professor Maitafsir, who was represented by the Institute’s Director of Academic Services, Dr. Hafsat Lawal Kontagora, said inclusive education is a reform that supports and welcomes diversity amongst all learners.

‘’In Nigeria, inclusive education is viewed as an approach to serving children with disabilities within general education settings. It ensures the right of every child to basic, compulsory and quality education without discrimination as stipulated by the Universal Basic Education (UBEC) Act (2004) as well as the National Policy on Inclusive Education (2016),‘’ he said.

The NTI chief executive lamented that most teachers do not practice inclusive education in regular schools as required because of inadequate knowledge and skills in inclusive education, lack of facilities and poor support from relevant stakeholders.

He said NTI was established in 1976 to provide courses of instruction leading to the development, upgrading and certification of in-service teachers as specified in relevant syllabus using distance education techniques.