Oyo State Government on Wednesday, distributed educational equipment worth millions of naira to 21 public special primary schools and 12 public special secondary schools in the state.
Some of the items distributed were Perkins Braille, manual typewriter, Index everest braille embosser, Duxbury braille translator, universal braille kit, talking calculator, Reams typing paper, walking sticks/mobility cane, JAWS for Windows (single interface), Generator 5kv.
Others were braille math blocks, Braille alphabet chart, braille letter keychain, audio meter, over head projector, hearing aids, Joy singing 3rd edition, HP desktop, educative toys, charts, Domino cube puzzle, first aid box, mattress, VCD, crutches and regular wheel chair.
Speaking during the distribution Commissioner for Education, Olasunkanmi Olaleye said the equipment were distributed to the schools based on the type of disabilities peculiar to the students to make teaching and learning easy and explicit.
He added that the beneficiaries should reciprocate the kind gesture by taking care of the equipment and make judicious use of them.
He said the Seyi Makinde-led government would in its effort ensure that special pupils/students have equal educational opportunities and operate on the same page with their counterparts in regular schools.
“The state government under the leadership of His Excellency, Oluseyi Makinde would not relent in his efforts to ensure that special needs pupils/students have equal educational opportunities and operate on the same page with their counterparts in regular schools.
“The target of the government on qualitative education and its zero tolerance for mass promotion would not be realised if teachers, particularly those in special schools, are teaching without necessary educational equipment and materials. It’s for this reason that the state government has expended a quantum of money to procure educational equipment to be distributed to thirty three (33) public special primary and secondary schools in the state based on the type of the disabilities peculiar to their students/pupils to make teaching and learning easy and explicit.
“The beneficiaries should reciprocate this kind gesture of government by taking very good care of the equipment, being dedicated to their studies and proving to the whole world that there is ability in disabilities he said.
Also speaking, Executive Assistant on Persons with Disability, Mr Adekanmbi Sunday Ayodele appreciated Governor Seyi Makinde for his love, kindness and goodwill towards persons living with disabilities, adding that he was the only governor that mentioned persons living with disabilities in his inaugural speech.
Adekanbi noted that this gesture was last witnessed in 2009, urging teachers to take good care of the equipment and make use of it judiciously.
He also urged people living with disabilities to keep supporting the Seyi Makinde-led government.
“I want to appreciate the governor for his kindness and goodwill towards persons living with disabilities in Oyo State. He is our amiable leader and a wonderful governor. You will remember that on the 29th of May, during his inaugural speech at the Obafemi Awolowo Stadium, he specifically mentioned that he will take care of persons living with disabilities. Again, I appreciate him.
“I want to also appreciate our friend, the Commissioner for Education, who made all of these to happen. He is our lover and friend. He knows what we feel. We have been together since 2009 and he has always been supporting us.
“I want to advise our teachers to help us handle all these educational materials for special schools with care because a lot of them are fragile. So, I want to assure PLWDs that the sky is our starting point and nothing will limit us. We know that none of us can do anything without education as it is key. We cannot go to the farm neither can we ride bikes.
“I also want to advice the parents to bring their disabled children out and give them a good future.”
The chairman of the Nigeria Association of Special Education, Oyo State Branch, Agboola Abayomi Johnson, commended the idea, adding that most of the teaching aids in the schools are outdated.
“This is one of the wonderful things that have ever happened to special schools and development of special education in Oyo State. Most of the teaching aids that we used to use are outdated.
“So, we have been longing for this for long and we thank Governor Makinde for distributing these artistic devices to the school and other items being given. We sincerely appreciate him for the kind gesture.
“We also thank the Commissioner for Education for his effort in ensuring that there is development in special schools in the state.”