The schools are: School of Grace, Gracelane Miracle Inclusive school and Safehost International Academy, all in Kurudu, FCT, Abuja.
The schools like Safehost International Academy, Miracle Inclusive School enrolls children with disability and children without disability and School for grace is specialized on children with disabilites.
Meanwhile, these schools put together an inclusive inter-house sports competition to enhance integration and cohesion among school children with disabilites and those without disabilities.
Mrs Biboara Yinkere, Director, School of Grace as well as the director for Gracelane Miracle Inclusive school, stated that the sporting activities were organised to bring about integration among school children.
She said that the two categories of children were mixed together to participate in the sporting activities just foster friendship among them.
Yinkere said that sport is one of those activities in the society that has made people with disabilities to thrives, adding that Paralympians in Nigeria are good example of such people.
“We know of the Paralympians in Nigeria that are doing very well, we thought it wise to start early with sport with them and that is why we brought this two categories of children together.
“Apart from the competition with each other, we also brought them together to foster friendship, to breakdown the wall of discriminations and segregations.
“It was difficult to know the difference among this categories of children when this sporting activities was going on because they blended nicely and they all put in their best, we can see the special children not shying away.
“We were thinking that for those of them with autism who are not use to noise will have challenge, we were worried that they may not like crowd, but they all blended.
“There is no difference in the two categories of children during their performance in the sporting activities and that is what we want to achieved,” she stressed.
She stated that the believe of the schools was that the sporting activities would increase the self-confidence of the children both those with disabilites and those without disabilities, stimulate their learning as well as their physical development.
Yinkere called on government to sponsor this kind of sporting fiesta.
She urged the representatives of government from the Ministry of health, education, youth and sports development who were at the programme to take the message to their various ministries.
She disclosed that the Inclusive Inter-house sport programme was supported by Leprosy Mission Nigeria with funding from Liliane Fonds, adding that if there are more sponsors, more progress would be achieved.
Mrs Ngozi Belolisa, Executive Director, Safehost International Schools, who dwelled much on inclusion advocacy as the main focus of the programme stated that the sporting activities would help to develop the children brain.
“Some of these sporting activities are brain base and we know that stimulating the part of the brain that has to do with certain sports will help the children to learn better.”
When their brain is stimulated they will begin to learn faster, they will begin to think faster and begin to understand concept in a better life, they will begin to process issues in a better life.
“The synchronisation of all the sporting activities is deliberate, this is to help them to retain, as they are learning, as they are looking, and by this we are training their sight, their coordination,” she said.
The Chairman of the occassion, Air Vice Marshal Lanre Oluwatoyin, Director Technical Services, Defence Intelligence Agency said the sporting activities was also to motivate the children and give them confidence.
He said that the sporting games were to make the children feel among as members of the society and to make them believe they can march the performance of their mates without disabilites.
“The special needs people needs to have that feelings that they are human beings, gone are the days where you just keep them in the house, instead of bringing them out to let them feel important.
“These sports games by these schools are to also encourage parents to bring those children out so that they interact together with their mates who are persons with disabilites, and to know that they are also human being.
“They are brought out to show that they have something to offer to the society and put a competitive spirit in them without necessarily injuring themselves,” he said.
He called on government to identify some of these schools who are teaching children with special needs together with those without disabilites to give special grant to encourage parents who have children with disability to enroll them in school.
According to him, there are thousands of children with special needs who are still outside the school as a result of financial incapability of their parents.