Academic journal article Ife Psychologia


Academic journal article Ife Psychologia


Article excerpt


The paper highlighted the education of students with special needs from special schools to mainstreaming programmes, classification of exceptionalities found in children; benefits of mainstreaming, the challenges facing mainstreaming; and the lessons for 21st century. The study concluded that students with special needs were yet to be integrated with regular students in public schools in Nigeria and this could affect their self perception and academic performance.

Keywords: Mainstreaming, handicap, integration, disability, students with special needs, non-disabled students, regular students.


Mba (1995) disclosed that in Nigeria, as in many developing countries of Africa, special education for the physically handicapped children began through the efforts of Christian Missionaries. However, Onwuchekwa (1985) and Sowumi (1992) reviewed the good work of Lord Leonard Cheshire (who was not a Christian Missionary) in establishing Homes for the physically handicapped all over the world. According to them, Lord Cheshire, who was formerly a bomber before he became a Christian, established six Homes in the United Kingdom and 185 Cheshire Homes in 48 other countries throughout the world, including Japan, China, India, Russia and Nigeria; caring for the incurable and homeless sick. All these were run autonomously, but within the aims and principles of the Cheshire Foundation Homes for the sick. The oldest of the Nigerian homes - the Oluyole Cheshire Home-located in Ibadan started on 6th June, 1959 by a local group of humanitarians made up of both black and white people inspired by the example of Group Capital Cheshire. The inmates were children, mainly crippled, who had been abandoned by their parents by the roadside or in the bush. Some of these children were happily married working adults, having received secondary and even tertiary education.

Another foreign missionary of note was Reverend Brown of the Baptist Mission who, in 1914, established the Iberekodo Leprosy settlement at Abeokuta in Ogun State. Revd Brown's humanitarian work was co-opted with that of Revd Olubi (a local clergyman) of the Church Missionary Society, who also, tremendously assisted in caring for the disabled in Nigeria. Abosi and Ozozi (1985) disclosed that a school for the blind was established in Kano in 1944. It was not a conventional type, but was aimed at making people able to read the Holy Bible. Essentially, the rehabilitation of the blind individuals took off in Nigeria in 1940 through the efforts of white missionaries. Eventually, the first conventional school for the blind was set up by the Sudan United Mission (S. U. M) at Gindiri in Plateau State in 1953. In 1958, the Church Missionary Society established the Oji River Rehabilitation Centre for the Blind in Anambra State. Since then, several residential schools for the blind had sprung up throughout Nigeria and Africa.

Mba (1995) noted that education for the deaf started in about 1956 at Lagos, when a group of persons known as "Friends of the Deaf" collected some deaf children and engaged them in purposeful play and activities. These children formed the nucleus of the Wesley School for the Deaf, Surulere Lagos, which was the first of its kind in Nigeria. Wesley School for the Deaf was established by the Methodist Mission in 1958. Andrew Faster, a black American missionary, established Ibadan Mission School for the Deaf in 1960. Mention should be made of Chief (Mrs.) A. O. Oyesola, a notable humanitarian, who founded a Home School for the Deaf in Ibadan in 1963. Her compassion for the deaf began prior to 1963 when, at Ikere in Ekiti State, she met a deaf girl who was marginalized because of her disability. Chief (Mrs.) Oyesola brought her to Ibadan and trained her. This was the beginning of a philanthropic project that was acknowledged world-wide.

About two decades later, Chief (Mrs.) Oyesola began training a group of deaf youths at a barber's shop. …

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