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The Lagos State Government has committed to improve the status of inclusive education in the state by increasing the budgetary allocation to the education sector in the Year 2021 Budget.
This follows the demand by the Lagos Civil Society Participation for Development formerly known as Lagos State Civil Society Partnership, LACSOP during the 5-day virtual budget consultative forum organized by the Lagos State Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget held in the 5 IBILE divisions of Lagos State.
The submissions into the budget were made by coalitions that are members of LACSOP; Civil Society Scaling Up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN), Policy Advocacy Partnership on Climate Change (PAPCC) The Lagos State Accountability Mechanism on Maternal and New Born Child Health (LASAM) Joint Associations of persons with disability (JONAPWD), and Civil Society Action Coalition On Education For All (CSACEFA).
LACSOP through the Chairman, Board of Trustees, Barrister Ayo Adebusoye made inputs into various sectors which include; Health, Environment,Disability-Inclusion ,Traffic,Transportation and road infrastructure .
Putting forward citizens request, he demanded that a budget line for inclusive education be created which would cater for the provision of learning aids and accessibility needs of children with disabilities in all the 44 inclusive schools across the state.
The network also demanded that there should be budgetary provision for the establishment of 12 model inclusive schools (2 in each educational district) out of the existing 44 inclusive schools in accordance with Lagos State Inclusive policy.
It also demanded for the establishment of one model inclusive secondary school in the Lagos Island/Eti-Osa/Ibeju Lekki axis to stop the high rate of drop out being currently experience by pupils with disabilities in those LGAs.
Responding to the propositions, the Lagos State Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Folashade Adefisayo noted all the inputs in the education sector would be adopted and adequate provisions would be made.
Specifically, she noted the suggestions on funding of the Inclusive Schools and Establishment of Model Inclusive Schools in the Education Districts and promised to include them in the Y2021 Education sector budget.
LACSOP noted that it is imperative that the state government apply the Y2021 Budget to meet the attainment of SDGs, especially Goals 17 which promotes multi stakeholder partnership.
Declaring its willingness to support the tracking of the Lagos State 2021 budget, LACSOP proposed that the 2021 budget should make adequate budgetary provision for participatory civil society tracking of the capital projects to ensure value for money.