By Ahmed Ubandoma
Abuja – The wife of the President, Mrs Aisha Buhari, has advocated strong commitment toward enhancing the mechanism for the welfare of children with disabilities in Nigeria.
Mrs Buhari made the remark at the end of a week-long National Workshop for health workers, parents and teachers handling children with special needs at the International Conference Centre, Abuja.
The programme was organised by the Aisha Buhari Foundation in collaboration with an American based Non-Governmental organisation called the NIKA Project.
Mrs Buhari, who was represented at the event by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Administration, Dr Hajo Sani, emphasized the need for investment in children living with disabilities in Nigeria.
The wife of the President, who reaffirmed her commitment to boost capacity of teachers, said the programme was organised to equip the teachers and caregivers with the requisite knowledge to teach children with special needs.
Mrs Buhari informed the gathering that her decision to engage specialists for the training was borne out of the emerging need for the children to have special attention.
She said the programme was meant to cater for the needy women and children with disabilities.
According to her, educational empowerment is one of the cardinal objectives of her foundation.
The Global Coordinator of NIKA Foundation and a resource person at the training, Mr Dan Philips, commended the teachers for their quick understanding of the new techniques in the lesson, which could assist them impact on the children.
Philips also commended the participants for their attention during the session and urged them to practice the skills acquired.
Also speaking, a Development Paediatrician, Dr Shola Faniran, stressed the need for early intervention to child disabilities.
Faniran said that early detection of child disability would assist parents to intervene in addressing issues related to child disabilities.
“There is need for patents to take time to familiarise with their children’s mental ability at the early stage,” she said.
One of the participants and Principal of Lafia Special School for the Disabled Children, Mr Jibrin Dan-Ogaji, said the training would add positive value to his method of teaching.
According to him, they were exposed to new educational applications that will go a long way to improve their teaching skills.
He promised to make use of the knowledge acquired for the benefit of the teachers and children of the special school.
While thanking the Aisha Buhari Foundation for organising such an important training, Dan-Ogaji, said the training was apt and useful.