The National Teachers Institute (NTI) Kaduna and Axiom Learning Solutions have collaborated to train no fewer than 7,000 teachers in Special Needs and Disabilities (SENDS), in 10 years from 2011 to date.
This was disclosed at the 2021 SENDs programme flagged off recently at the Federal Capital, Abuja, a statement made available to BusinessDay states.
The flag off ceremony commenced with Musa Garba Maitafsir, a professor, director-general and chief executive of the National Teachers’ Institute (NTI), Kaduna giving the welcome address while the co-founder -Axiom Learning Solutions gave the opening remarks.
The 2021 SENDs training programme was a two-day event held in six selected state capitals at the six geo-political zones. The centres were in Abuja, Sokoto, Bauchi, Calabar, Enugu and Abeokuta.
The SENDs training programme is a special component under NTI Kaduna and funded by Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for Primary & Junior secondary schools teachers across the six geo-political zones of the federation.
“Following the introduction of SENDs training in 2011, NTI through its renowned consultant Axiom Learning Solutions has facilitated training for over 7,000 teachers in SENDs and provided learning aids to over a quarter of a million teachers across Nigeria,” says the statement.
“SENDs evolved due to the need for teachers to be specially trained to handle learners that have physical challenges, health concerns, or intellectual challenges,” the statement further says.
“These challenges can hinder learning in the classroom. Special Education teachers are grossly inadequate to cover all classrooms in our schools’ system and this is the main reason that makes this training imperative,” it adds.
About 148 teachers participated in the training exercise with each state producing four teachers each including the Federal Capital Territory.
In the last two years, the whole world has grappled with the disruptions created by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in various sectors including education.
Learning by children with different forms and severity of disabilities has also been adversely affected by the impact of the pandemic on education.
Other disruptive incidents across the country have also made it more obvious the need to empower teachers with the right knowledge, skills, and abilities to ensure the delivery of an inclusive learning environment during periods of sudden disruptions and conflict, the statement states.
The 2021 training edition has been upgraded to address the need to up-skill teachers who manage learners with diverse needs and teach across diverse communities in times of disruption.
The security challenges and conflicts in the country have also created a situation where learners suddenly do not have access to face-to-face learning and teachers and stakeholders must be prepared to support learners in their learning needs.
During this training programme, teachers will also acquire diverse skills that will ensure they can adequately engage persons with physical or intellectual disabilities in the learning experience.
This training was designed to strengthen the teacher’s competencies at the grassroots level on SENDs.
In attendance were the representative of the senior special assistant to President on SDG and the representative of the Honourable Minister of Education.