To celebrate this year’s International Day for Persons with special needs, Osun State Governor, Adegboyega Oyetola on Tuesday inaugurated four socially-inclusive micro projects for Persons Living With Disabilities (PWDs) in the state.
The Governor formally inaugurated the micro projects including Braille Press Center for the blind, hostel for girls with disabilities, fencing of school of children with special needs and tricycles for the physically challenged group.
Addressing the PWDs at the school for the physically challenged in Osogbo, the governor reiterated his administration’s commitment to building a state where there will be equal opportunities for all citizens regardless of the difference in their respective physical status.
Oyetola maintained that the current administration has demonstrated great commitment to the welfare and education of the physically challenged persons in the same way it has done for their able-bodied colleagues.
“As an administration, we place high premium on persons living with disabilities, we accord them the same attention and recognition as their able-bodied colleagues, and we make them an important part of everything we do,” Oyetola stated.
He disclosed that the State of Osun has 10 schools for persons with special needs – 8 residential and 2 day schools, adding that the government has remained committed to ensuring that feeding allowances and grants are promptly released to the schools.
He said the government also provides the schools with instructional materials while also training and re-training their specialist teachers.
He also expressed the government’s readiness to appoint from the people with special needs their representatives in the government, adding “We want to break all borders and ensure that no one has an excuse to waste his talent and deny Osun and the larger society their contributions.”
“The Braille Press Center for the Blind houses books and other reading materials transcribed for blind children to enable them to review and study the written words with the aid of the Braille. This will enhance literacy and intellectual capability.
“This Braille Press Centre is unique, it is the first of its kind in the South West of Nigeria and it is supported by the State Government and managed by the Blind group. It will provide job opportunities for the blind and make them relevant members of the society,” Oyetola added.
Earlier in her address, the General Manager of Osun Agency for the Community and Social Development Project (CSDP), Mrs Funmi Aderonke said the four (4) completed micro projects are in tandem with the three philosophical principles of the State Development Agenda which are poverty eradication, gender and social inclusion, value addition and sustainability of development.
She revealed that government in conjunction with the World Bank through the Community and Social Development Project (CSDP) has committed one hundred and nine million, three hundred and seventeen thousand, eight hundred and fifty-five naira (N109, 317,855.00) for 48 socially inclusive micro projects, including the four being inaugurated today.
Also speaking, the Mistress of the school, Mrs.Titilayo Amoo, thanked the state government for the support and love for the people with special needs in the state, adding that the projects would increase the quality of teaching and learning in the school and enhance the pupils’ performance.
In their separate remarks, some of the pupils thanked Mr. Governor for giving priority to their education and welfare.
They commended him for identifying with them on the auspicious occasion, adding that he was the only governor who has visited the school since its establishment over 20 years ago.