Oyo State Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Professor Adeniyi Olowofela has said that the state government under Governor Abiola Ajimobi has spent N67,464, 000.00 on school feeding programme for pupils in the hostel of Government Special Schools in twelve months.
He said this on Wednesday during his keynote address at the 8th Edition of Music, Dance and Play Festival for persons with disabilities held at the National Museum of Unity, Alesinloye, Ibadan.
He noted that the present administration has demonstrated commitment to the education of all, stressing that the government is supporting education in all ramifications.
Olowofela also emphasized that the ultimate priority of the government of the day is the awareness on preventive methods and reduction in the occurrence of disabilities in the society and implementation of educational and vocational programmes for management of people with disabilities.
“Oyo State Government under the leadership of Senator Abiola Ajimobi had been concerned with the welfare of persons with disabilities. Recently, we distributed teaching/instructional materials to special schools in the state and created a conducive environment for teaching and learning.
“The government also provides free lodging and feeding for all pupils in the hostel of Government Special Schools, while the salaries of the domestic workers are also paid”, he said.
The commissioner further provides details of N5,622,000.00 disbursed to Special Schools for feeding on monthly basis.
A breakdown of the release revealed that the School for the Deaf, Ijokodo received the largest allocation of N1,500,000.00.This was followed by School for the Handicapped, Saki which got N897,000.00 ; while School for the Blind, Ogbomoso got N501,000.00.
The Oluyole Cheshire Home received N450,000.00 and School for the Handicapped, Durbar, Oyo with N450,000.00.
Others are: School for the Deaf, Eruwa (N450,000.00), Home School for the Handicapped, Ijokodo (N450, 000.00), Lagelu Special School, Lalupon (N333,000.00), Omoyeni School for the Blind, Ademola, Ibadan (N315,000.00), School for the Handicapped H. L. A, Agodi (N240,000.00) and Federation of Muslim Women Association of Nigeria, FOMWAN (N36,000.00).
The commissioner, however called on well-meaning Nigerians, Organizations, public spirited individuals to partner with the government towards making life easier for people with disabilities by providing basic educational needs, medical needs and human assistance.
“Today, there is need of protecting people with disabilities because ability to do this determines the ability of a country’s greatness. I therefore appeal to well-meaning Nigerians to support people with disabilities with moral and financial assistance”.
Also speaking, the former Special Adviser to the governor on disability, Prince Paul Adelabu commended the state government for taking issues of the students living with disabilities seriously.
Speaking on need to support the people living with disabilities, Adelabu said: “there is need to support these children with disabilities. They have residual ability and it causes efforts to dig it out through education.
“They are just like me but are loaded with internal abilities. If it is in a developed countries, they are paid without labour and I believe we are getting there. And I’m happy that they have been given adequate attention under the present administration”,
Describing how difficult life is to the people with disabilities including him, Adelabu added: “during my birth, people and my parents sobered because I was disabled. Even they attempted to kill me because of my disability but today, I’m a source of joy to all and sundry”.
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