A total of 150 persons living with disabilities (PLWDs), recruited by the Teaching Service Commission (TESCOM), Oyo State began to receive their employment letters, on Monday.
At the presentation ceremony held at State Secretariat, Ibadan, Chairman, TESCOM, Oyo State, Mr Akinade Alamu, added that additional 50 PLWDs will be engaged for non-teaching jobs.
Pointing to earlier protests against those PLWDs selected, Alamu said the commission was openly giving out the letters so that any complaint about anyone being given employment letter will be immediately attended to.
“Today, we are giving out letters to People Living with Disabilities (PLWD). There have been some complaints and misgivings and we decided to give out the letters to them (PLWD) in an open space in the presence of everybody and PLWD themselves so that everybody will see that we have nothing to hide.
“If there is a complaint of the disable people as touching the appointment of any person, we will all jointly withhold such letters because we will be giving out letters publicly to them all here.
“We have done all we could and we have considered them as people living with disabilities and it would be a sin for any one of us to cheat on them by shortchanging their slots again, which Governor Seyi Makinde also warn us against,” Alamu said.
Also speaking, the Executive Assistant to Governor Seyi Makinde on Administration, Pastor Idowu Ogedengbe, said the appointment was based on competence and qualification not minding the physical challenges of the new recruits.
“We started these processes with one clear mind from the governor that we only recruit those who are competent and must be based on a merit system. We only exempted PLWD from writing the CBT but we interviewed all of them.
“We had close to 400 people who applied but about 330 showed up for the interviews and about 150 would be recruited and we have ensured that they have the necessary competencies and qualification. We also ensured that there are not abled bodies who are coming to take the slot of people living with disabilities.
“But after we completed the exercise, the umbrella body of PLWD came up to say they saw the names of able-bodied people on the list, which for us was unacceptable and that was why we decided to issue the letter in an open environment for all to see so that the whole process won’t be hijacked.”
On the measure taken to ensure that the new recruits fit into the work environment despite their physical challenges, Ogedengbe said “we are sure that there won’t be any protest after now, the ministry of education have acquired some teaching aids and some materials that will assist PLWD to carry out their responsibilities of teaching within the Oyo State education sector.
“We are a government that is sympathetic and considerate with people challenges. Nobody wants to be disabled and the fact they are disabled does not in any way make them not able to deliver what they can with respect to the development of thy educational sector of the state.”
In his remarks, the Executive Assistance to Governor Makinde on Disability Matters, Mr Adekanmbi Ayodele said the new recruits will be posted to schools that they can serve until their work environment is most conducive for them.
He said: “Most of our people living with disabilities that have been employed today, some of them have access problem while some others are blind and in talking about infrastructure, we went to school with the normal infrastructure and we coped with that.
“Pending the time that the facilities would be all-inclusive, I have advised that they post them to any of the schools. Some of the model schools are accessible and I can assure you that they will cope for now until we will bring some developmental partners to come and help us because the government cannot do everything alone.
“Again, some of them will be positioned downstairs if the schools have upstairs and I can assure you that they will cope. That does not mean they won’t post them to any school because they won’t only post them to only the handicapped school but all the other schools. They can teach and train in any school”.