By Talatu Maiwada
Abuja – The Albino Foundation (TAF), an NGO, says it has sensitised no fewer than 120 head teachers and principals of primary and secondary schools on Albinism rights, working with the FCT Education Board.
Mr Jake Epelle, President of the Foundation, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Abuja.
He said it was important for teachers to understand the rights of persons with Albinism in order to mitigate the level of discrimination and abuse against children with Albinism in schools.
Epelle said the programme provided a platform for teachers to acquire knowledge on the socio-cultural myths and beliefs about Albinos and how to cope and encourage children with Albinism in schools.
“Teachers play an important role in the educational pursuit and general productivity of their students, especially children that are physically challenged.
“Teachers interact with the children daily and should be well equipped on proper care and best techniques to transfer knowledge to the children.
“They need to be knowledgeable in control and persuasion techniques, because children lose self-confidence and self-esteem and also fall victim of bullies in school.
“Lack of proper knowledge on the part of the children with Albinism can also hinder them from living better lives because they experience skin cancer, body and mouth odour and shortsightedness.’’
Epelle said after the programme, schools would be required to provide the enabling environment for learning and eye-screening for pupils and students.
He said teachers would be expected protect the Albinos from name calling, abuses and discourage them from hard labour as well as playing in the sun, to avoid skin infection.
Epelle added that children with Albinism should always sit andin front of the class because of their sight with extra time allotted to them during exams and school tests.
He said that a white board and a black pen would be provided in all schools for better viewing and understanding for the children. (NAN)