The Lagos Civil Society Participation for Development, a network of Civil Society Organisations, has called on the Lagos State Government to create a budget line that would cater for the provision of learning aids and accessibility needs of children with disabilities in all the 44 inclusive schools across the State.
Towards this end, the Lagos State Government has committed to improving the status of inclusive education in the State by increasing the budgetary allocation to the education sector in the Year 2021 budget.
Making the call during a 5-day virtual budget consultative forum organized by the Lagos State Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget held in the five Ibile divisions of the State.
The network, formerly known as the Lagos State Civil Society Partnership, LACSOP, called for budgetary provision for the establishment of 12 model inclusive schools (two in each educational district) out of the existing 44 inclusive schools in accordance with Lagos State Inclusive policy.
Calling on the government to do the needful, LACSOP, through its Chairman, Board of Trustees, Barrister Ayo Adebusoye, made inputs into health, environment, disability-inclusion, traffic, transportation and road infrastructure.
Further, they demanded the establishment of one model inclusive secondary school in the Lagos Island/Eti-Osa/Ibeju Lekki axis to stop the high rate of drop out currently experienced by pupils with disabilities in those LGAs.
LACSOP remarked that it is imperative that the state government applies the Y2021 Budget towards the attainment of the SDGs, particularly Goal 17 which promotes multi-stakeholder partnership, even as it proposed that adequate provision be made for participatory civil society tracking of the capital projects to enable tracking of the budget.
In response, the Lagos State Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Folashade Adefisayo said all the inputs in the education sector would be adopted and adequate provisions made.
Specifically, she noted the suggestions on the funding of the Inclusive Schools and Establishment of Model Inclusive Schools in the Education Districts and promised to include them in the Y2021 Education sector budget.
The submissions into the budget were made by members of LACSOP including the Civil Society Scaling Up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN); Policy Advocacy Partnership on Climate Change (PAPCC); the Lagos State Accountability Mechanism on Maternal and New Born Child Health (LASAM); Joint Associations of Persons With Disability (JONAPWD), and Civil Society Action Coalition On Education For All (CSACEFA).