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DEALING WITH DISCRIMINATION IN SCHOOLS
Being a person with a disability in whatever form in the Nigerian educational system, discrimination should be expected. Therefore as a disabled student, it should not come as a surprise. The following tips will help students with disabilities manage better socially in schools and avoid the possible adverse effects of the reactions of their peers and even some lecturers/ teachers.
- It is not your fault: Never blame yourself for your disability. Realize that it’s not your fault and the people making adverse comments either do not know better or lack the required tact to handle it. Also, realize that students at every level will always want a scapegoat. If its not you, it’ll be someone else.
- It is a natural instinct of man to attack what you do not understand: Because “able” students do not understand the intricacies of life as a disabled person, they will usually be stereotyped in their evaluation of you and this may come across in their comments as being mean spirited. Forgive their ignorance.
- Answer inquisitive questions truthfully without undue emotion; this will earn you a lot of respect.
- Aim to be the best student you can be – nothing silences criticism and discrimination like obvious intelligence and academic success.
- Find a recreational activity you are good and work on it to make sure you do it well. This reduces boredom and helps people see you as an equal.
- Try your best to live an independent life- This is not say that you will not ask for help when needed, but when you’re not entirely dependent on others for daily survival, discrimination will be reduced.
Lastly and more importantly, “He who must have friends must himself be friendly”. To forstall incidences of discrimination, be friendly and always have a positive outlook. Be ready to laugh at yourself and don’t take things too personal.
Have a blessed quarter. Don’t let discrimination stop you from achieving your goals and living your dream!!!!