My Journey to Puerto Rico

I am counting down to the World Forum on Early Care and Education taking place at San Juan Puerto Rico from the 6th – 9th of May 2014. One of the things I would be doing there as part of the ‘Special Needs’ Working Group is presenting in a panel discussion on the topic ‘Inclusion Practices Around the World – The Nigerian Story’ amongst many other experiences.

As I researched on this topic, I realised  how deep our misapprehensions are concerning ‘Special Needs’ and Inclusive Education in Nigeria. We certainly are in need of community/media advocacy on this issue. There are far too many children in need of this system of education whose lives could be touched just by us beginning to practice a comprehensive Inclusive system of education.

To date, Early Childhood Education  is not being provided by the government throughout the country – an education policy reform that must be looked into. It is the one important sector of any Education system that feeds the foundation for successful schooling for the average child.

What is Inclusive Education? Inclusive Education is sometimes intertwined with ‘Integration’ which is the mainstreaming and/or incorporation of students with special needs ( blindness, deafness, autism, dyslexia, sickle cell anaemia, polio, and all other mental and physical challenges) in regular schools. Inclusive Education is also the type of schooling that facilitates personalized learning opportunities for all students. It is the kind of practice that adapts frameworks to various excluded groups (especially rural populations, girls, and students with special needs). It also views ‘languages’ as a factor related to the lack of access to education.

San Juan, Puerto Rico comes alive with Early Care and Education professionals from all over the world. It promises to be ‘edutaining’ and I will be sharing my learning experiences, sights and sounds with you in the coming weeks. 

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