Educating Students with Disabilities in Nigeria: Some Challenges and Policy Implications

Abstract:

The Nigerian society, like every other one, is composed of individuals with and without one form of disabilities or the other. Those with disabilities deviate from average physical, socio- psychological and mental behaviours to such extent that they cannot profitably benefit from regular educational programmes. However, educating students with disabilities in Nigeria is not without some challenges. Thus, this paper examines challenges and policy implications for the education of students with disabilities. It first discusses the concept of special education, before focusing on the meaning and classifications of students with disabilities. Eight types of students with disabilities were identified in the paper, while two strategies for the education of students with disabilities, namely the inclusion and the exclusion, were brought to the fore. Some of the challenges highlighted are inadequacy of educational funding, high cost of educational materials and equipment, lack of specialists and para-professionals among others. Policy implications discussed include admission policy, employment policy, architectural design policy and so on. The paper finally recommends inter alia that the Federal College of Education (Special), Oyo be upgraded to a full-fledged University, the creation of more Departments of Special Education in the nation’s Universities, the creation of the Ministry of Disabled Affairs/National Commission for People with Disabilities, and the setting up of Special Students Bursary/Scholarship Awards