WE RING THE BELL
This year’s ‘WE RING THE BELL’ preparation began with activities of advocacy visits to four schools situated in Okpanam/Asaba (Madonna school for children with special needs, Noble Academy, and St Mulumba catholic school) all in Okpanam, and Playlearn Academy, Asaba, Delta state, five (5) radio jingles, one at EBS radio, KU FM, and Vibes FM all in Benin City, and two (2) at NTA Asaba Delta State and printing and sharing of fliers.
The programme was carried out today the 18th of March 2020 as against the 21st of March which fell on a Saturday while one of the schools where advocacy visits were made during the preparation; Noble secondary school will observe the one minute uproar on the 23rd of March 2020 due to their Inter House sports on the 18th.
The Daughters of Charity Rehabilitation Center Ossiomo-Ogan facilitated the programme, the team made up of teachers of Madonna School for children with special needs, some selected staff of the center and Some sisters of the Daughters of Charity where divided into two groups, (group1 and group2), each of the group where assigned to carry out ‘We ring the Bell’ in two schools where advocacy visits had previously been made. The programme had to take place only in one school (St Mulumba College) as against planned due to the reluctance of the Proprietor of one of the schools (Playlearn Academy) to fully participate because the school had started exams. This necessitated the 1st group to rejoin with their other counterparts in St Mulumba College and proceed with the programme. But despite the hitch experienced the ‘We ring the Bell’2020 was a huge success.
Teachers, pupils gathered to listen to the brief speech centered on the Rights of children with disabilities to inclusive education, which was also the theme for this year’s ‘We ring the Bell’. There was also a demonstration made to the audience of the tremendous gap in education between children living with disabilities who are either denied the right to education or do not have the access to inclusive education at all and children not with disabilities of the same age.
It was fun as the children enjoyed the 3 minutes uproar after the speech, with light refreshments to cap up the programme. At the end the message was passed – that children with disabilities have the right to inclusive education.
The hitch experienced earlier goes to show that there is need for more intense advocacy and awareness creation on the rights of children and youngsters with disabilities to both inclusive education and other rights at every level of the society.
As a follow up to the 2020 ‘We Ring the Bell’ we will edit and make video of the entire programme and use it for further television advocacy programme at state and national levels. This is to ensure that the message spreads further to larger parts of the society.
Sr Juliana Okeke