Posted by News Express | 20 November 2020 | 311 times
By NAFISAT MOHAMMED
World Children’s Day is celebrated annually on November 20. The aim is to improve child welfare worldwide by promoting and celebrating children’s rights, increase togetherness and awareness amongst all children.
This year’s theme is to re-imagine a better world for every child.
In celebrating this year’s World Children’s Day, the UNICEF (United Nations Children Funds) has come with a six-point plan proposing a set of practical and concrete actions to reunite the world around a common cause, the realisation of the sustainable development goals and convention on the rights of the child.
Amongst the UNICEF calls for global action is to ensure all children learn including closing the digital divide.
The question now is, “how can we contribute our little quota by ensuring that in 2030, we close the digital divide and connect all children and young people to the internet?”
In an exclusive chat Dabels Collins, an Advocate for Children with Special Needs and the Supervisor, Special Unit, HMS school, Kaduna, told News Express how the school is contributing its quota in ensuring inclusive education in Kaduna.
He explained that during the COVID-19 lockdown, the school management had an online mechanism on ground that allowed for online learning which ensured that the kids were not left behind during the lockdown.
Mr. Collins noted that their school provides parental support and reporting mechanism to encourage the kids to speak up and report any form of abuse.
He said: “We have a guidance and counseling unit, where these kids are encouraged to go to always and chat with the counselor.
“Also, our kids are responsive, they tell us about the things happening around them.”
He further said that the school instructs the children on their basic rights and privileges. Noting that they have several social clubs that are saddled with the responsibility of educating and creating awareness on rights and privileges to the children, Mr. Collins said: “To us, the child rights act is a key thing in life, as we are their livewire that help them grow from childhood to adulthood.”
The child rights advocate explained that the school has initiated a planting policy where the kids are advised and encouraged to take care of and protect their environment at all time.
He further stated that they ensure every child is included and given equal opportunity despite their uniqueness.
“We contribute to inclusive education by understanding children’s needs, knowing that every child is a unique individual and teaching them based on the unique traits and areas of interests.
“We give equal opportunity to all the children by allowing everyone participate in academic, social and recreational activities, no one is left behind here,” he said.
The child rights advocate called on relevant stakeholders to invest more on children with special needs as all hands must be on deck for inclusive education to thrive.
•Nafisat Mohammed writes from Zaria, Kaduna State.
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