NGO Makes Case For Domestic Centre, Special Education Centre For The Deaf/Mentally Retarded, Aba
By Our Reporter
Special Education Centre for the Deaf and Mentally Retarded, Aba, Abia State is in dire need of facilities needed to promote practical and qualitative education, the management committee and some volunteer members of Initiative for Grassroots Interventions and Development in Education (I-GIDE), formerly known as DGES, led by the Executive Director, Mrs Eunice Egbuna, has observed when they visited the school and interacted with the pupils and staff of the vulnerable group recently.
Mrs Egbuna who led the team disclosed that their visit to the school was motivated, following the report of Civil Society Action Coalition on Education For All, CSACEFA and passionately appealed to the government and wellmeaning Nigerians to come to their aid as the society owes them that show of love.
Speaking further on what motivated the visit she said, “After a brief stakeholders meeting of some concerned Civil Society Organizations which centred on development issues, particularly on the issue of bad economy and how the youths could be empowered with skills to earn a living, the issue of functional education with an emphasis on practical knowledge was stressed.
” The outcome of the meeting led to the decision by the representatives of CSACEFA Abia who attended the meeting, to schedule a visit to a one time popular Domestic Centre in Aba metropolis, where some CSACEFA members recalled, in nostalgia, as their Alma matter, where they received some basic skills in their foundational stages of educational pursuits. We reasoned that the school has lost its fame and should be visited to know its state.
“The said visit was made on the 20th day of October 2021 with the main objectives to: familiarize with the management of the school and present CSACEFA as a group to work with in order to promote and achieve their own objective towards practical and functional education; to identify their challenges and to jointly agree on the best approach to make them more effective”.
Egbuna revealed that the interaction of CSACEFA Team with the Headmistress, Deaconess Maureen Njoku and the members of her staff revealed the importance of the school and the readiness of the teachers to impact skill to the willing pupils; and further explained that the school runs two Departments – the Domestic Science Department for the girls and the Handicraft department for the boys.
According to Egbuna, Deaconess Njoku showed the visiting team, the roaster on the days that the basic schools in Aba Education Zone visits for their practical learning but regretted to observe that pupils and their teachers were no longer coming up because there are no equipment for the Practicals.
The Headmistress who decried that the school has lost its past glory for lack of maintenance, remarked that the teachers were in school, ready to impart the knowledge and skill but no pupils were seen.
Egbuna reasoned that if teachers were willing, then the government whose duty it is to manage the school should make it functional, as the school is strategically located but very difficult to locate by total strangers because it had no sign post.
Egbuna further iidentified the needs of the school to include a sign post, cooking utensils and equipment for their practicals like gas cookers, pots, bakery equipment, chairs and desks and many other domestic utensils.
She called on good Nigerians and lovers of education to come to the aid of the school, to make it functional once again.
Egbuna said, “We need such schools to show our young ones the path to early experience to skill acquisition for economic empowerment in these days of zero unemployment opportunities.
” The Special Education Centre for the Deaf and Mentally Retarded, Aba is in dire need of trained teachers in sign language and need to employ capable hands.
“They also need to be supplied with sign language books for teaching and learning. Secondary school needs to be constructed for them within the premises for continuity because they are there to learn other skills to sustain them. They need computers to equip them with skills as source of income after their education. They need to be provided with a school bus to pick them from strategic positions since many come from far Local Government Areas”.
Egbuna maintained that once the basic facilities are on ground, it will assist and encourage the pupils’ parents who are already going through mental torture, taking care of people with such disabilities and the children will feel loved and will desire to attend school.