Kaduna: Education Stakeholders push for ICT to support learning for PWDs in STEM
By Uangbaoje Alex, Kaduna
Stakeholders in the Education sector in Kaduna State at the weekend resolved to as a matter of urgency start engaging government to make provision for ICT facilities that can support Persons with Disabilities (PWDs), in their quest to study Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), courses.
The stakeholders who were not happy with the way tertiary institutions in the state are handling issues concerning PWDs in STEM, noted that a timely advocacy to various government MDAs is imperative.
They made the resolution during a one-day technical session on education budget in Kaduna State, especially as it affects PWDs in STEM, organized by Kaduna Basic Education Accountability Mechanism (KADBEAM) in collaboration with the state Disability Affairs Board, with support from Centre for Girls’ Education (CGE).
According to them, in most cases institutions select courses for PWDs to study against theirs choices which could be a form of discrimination because of their conditions.
They said providing the appropriate ICT facilities for teaching and learning for such community of people right from the secondary schools and also having the right teachers to man the facilities, would help them to compete favorably with other people.
The group lament the unavailability of accurate data of the population of PWDs in schools in Kaduna State, especially for girls in STEM, which they say may be making planning difficult for those who might want to come and support government in that area.
They called on the state government to give attention to the employment of maths and other sciences teachers who are experts in the use of signs languages and other special skills to teach the blinds and other forms of disabilities.
They added that there is need for government to also increase budgetary allocation for STEM, to enable it cover a lot of ground in the provision of special ICT facilities in both secondary and special schools and also tertiary institutions in the state.
Earlier in his opening remarks, Co-chair of KADBEAM, Tijjani Ahmed Aliyu, said the mechanism would ensure that government allocate a robust amount of money in the 2024 budget and any supplementary budget that may come up before the end of 2023, to enable it address the issue.
In her goodwill message, Kaduna State Team Lead of CGE, Aisha Bello Aminu, noted that an improvement in the current budget for STEM will provide equal opportunities for girls with disabilities to compete with a view to narrowing intra and inter gender gaps.
“It will also enhance girls with special needs education and economic security, ensure diverse and talented STEM workforce and eradicate discrimination.” She added.