The Registrar of Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Prof Ishaq Oloyede, has called on the Federal Government to establish Centres for the Deaf in the country so as to cater for the 17m deaf people in the society.
Oloyede, who was speaking during a courtesy visit of a delegation from the Association of Deaf People in Nigeria, to the Federal Ministry of Education, recently, stated that these centres will help the deaf in the country achieve their dreams and visions.
Oloyede lamented that the centre, was established in Ilorin for over 30 years, and has been neglected due to lack of funds. He spoke of the need for its revitalisation.
In addition, Oloyede called on the government to establish such centres in five other geopolitical zones of the country which will go a long way in meeting the needs of the deaf.
He added that the delegation, which includes representatives from Gallaudet University and Wesley University, have met with the board’s officials and that of the National Universities Commission (NUC) to present their request on the establishment of a special university for the Deaf, after Gallaudet University, Washington.
Speaking on the reason for their visit, the team leader for the delegation, Dr Khadijat Rashid, said the special university would cater for over 17 million deaf people in the country.
The delegation also sought the support of the Minister towards ensuring the approval of the proposed campus for the Deaf at the Wesley University in Nigeria.
Rashid, who is also the Dean, School of Education, Business and Human Services, Gallaudet University, Washington said the university was important to help the hearing impaired citizens experience university education.
Rashid, who said that many deaf people, who were Nigerians, were working with the Wesley University owned by the Methodist Church of Nigeria, appealed that the disability bill before the National Assembly, be passed into law as it has been in the Senate for the past 15 years without any development to its passage.
Responding, minister of State for Education, Prof Anthony Anwukah, urged the association to tidy up and perfect every document with the National Universities Commission (NUC) to enable the government act quickly on their demands.
He pledged the Ministry’s support of the initiative, while calling on the University of Wesley to encourage Nigerians who had studied abroad to return home.
He, however, said that the Federal Government is not in a position to provide funding support to private universities in the country.
He said the proprietors of the private universities should be able to fund their institutions as the government would continue to provide a healthy and enabling environment for enhanced quality education delivery in Nigeria.