By Rita Iliya
Minna – Dr Amina Bello, Wife of the Niger Governor, says she will support the education of physically challenged children in the state.
Bello made the promise when Mrs Mairam Kolo, Director-General of the State Child Rights Protection Agency, visited her in Minna on Monday.
Kolo led students of Niger State School for Special Education and other children, to interact with the governor’s wife to mark this year’s Eid el-fitr celebration.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the interactive session is a yearly practice by the governor’s wife to interact with children during festive period and listen to their needs.
Bello said that the interactive session implied that government was aware of the needs of children with disabilities and had their interest at heart.
“This is to show that government is aware of children with special needs and is looking after their interest.
“There is a tendency that these children are separated from other children and when you interact with them this way, they get to feel a sense of belonging like other normal children.
“The interaction makes them more confident and encourages them because it boosts their morale,’’ she said.
While interacting with the children, Bello expressed optimism with the level of education of the children and their skills of communication.
She promised to visit the school to inspect facilities and see how government could provide basic amenities to enhance environment conducive learning and teaching.
The governor’s wife advised the children to be committed to their education in order to impact positively on the society.
Kolo explained that the visit was meant to give children with disabilities the right to mingle and have social life.
She said that the agency had programmes, especially for children with disabilities to enable them to mingle and integrate, for them not to see their disability as liability.
“This visit shows the love the governor’s wife has for children and the children are always excited to meet with her and interact with her.
“We have educational and social activities such as sports and adventure for these special children and so far, they have been performing excellently,’’ Kolo said.
Miss Saratu Garba, one of the students, who communicated using sign language, solicited the assistance of the state government in rehabilitating the school’s hostels and the clinic.
She appealed to government to provide hospital consumables such as drugs and deploy competent nurses and doctors to the school.
“The facilities, especially those in our hostels, are dilapidated. We do not have enough drugs in our clinic and only a nurse attends to sick students in the school,” Garba said.
A male student, Nura Danladi, appealed to the state government to provide them with sports kits to enable the students to participate actively in sports activities.