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CHARIS Leads Advocacy for Inclusive Education in Plateau State

Written by on October 20, 2023

By Odinaka Kingsley Obeta

Plateau State, Nigeria — In a dedicated effort to enhance access to disability inclusion and mental health
services in Plateau State, CHARIS Healthcare and Community Support Initiative, in collaboration with
allies from the Disability Support Group and the Joint National Association of Persons with Disability
(JONAPWDs), embarked on a transformative advocacy mission.

The advocacy team from CHARIS, led by Mr. Odinaka Kingsley Obeta, Head of Advocacy and
Communications at CHARIS Healthcare and Community Support Initiative initiated a compelling
advocacy visit to the Honourable Commissioner for Education at the Plateau State Ministry of Education
complex in Jos. The esteemed delegation was received by the Honourable Commissioner, the
Permanent Secretary, and the Board of Directors of the Ministry of Education.

The primary objective of this significant advocacy visit was to raise awareness about the substantial
challenges faced by Children and Youths with Disabilities (CYWDs) when it comes to accessing inclusive
education. The team emphasized how this predicament detrimentally affects the holistic development
of CYWDs, underscoring the urgent need for inclusive education.

During the engagement, the team proposed the introduction of sign language into the current
educational curriculum. This critical edition aims to meet the unique learning needs of CYWDs with
hearing impairments, fostering effective communication and enhancing learning opportunities for these
students, ultimately advancing their educational and social development.

Moreover, the visit aimed to explore collaborative opportunities between CHARIS and the Ministry of
Education. The collaboration is geared towards developing joint initiatives, training programs, and
capacity-building activities that promote inclusive education and provide comprehensive support for

In an inspiring commitment, the Honourable Commissioner pledged to provide academic scholarships to
five visually impaired students pursuing tertiary education. Additionally, the Commissioner expressed a
keen interest in partnering with CHARIS to present a comprehensive report on inclusive education to the
State Governor.

To further promote inclusive education, the Ministry of Education, under the leadership of The commissioner also called on CHARIS to collaborate with the ministry to develop a training module for
inclusive education. This training module will support the training of secondary school teachers across
Plateau State on inclusive education and also facilitate the practical implementation of inclusive
The Commissioner also mentioned that the Ministry of Education will commence plans to identify two
government secondary schools where inclusive education will be actively practiced, which will foster an
environment of inclusivity and hence promote equal educational opportunities for all.

Group Photos with The Commissioner of Health and CHARIS Healthcare Representatives

This laudable initiative is part of strengthening access to disability inclusion and mental health
services project implemented in Plateau state by CHARIS Healthcare and Community Support Initiative’s
with funding from Liliane Fonds, and technical support from the Leprosy Mission in Nigeria (TLMN).

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