REPORT Education’s Missing Millions: Including Disabled Children
There are 77 million children around the world who have never entered a primary school classroom. Most are from poor families in developing countries, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. And, according to a recent report (PDF format, 1.2 Mb), one-third of them have disabilities.
This is an enormous proportion when you consider that the World Health Organization estimates that only about 10 percent of the overall world population are people with disabilities. The World Bank has estimated that possibly as many as 15 to 20 percent of the world’s poorest people have disabilities. But even by this estimate, children with disabilities are still disproportionately represented among primary-school-aged children who are not in school.
So, what can be done to address this challenge? A recent 74-page report, Education’s Missing Millions: including disabled children in education through EFA FTI processes and national sector plans (PDF format, 1.2 Mb), explores this question. Education’s Missing Millions was funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) through a Partnership Programme Agreement with World Vision UK.
Country governments and international donors have been working together on the Education For All Fast Track Initiative (FTI) to put all primary-school aged children into a classroom by the year 2015. This goal cannot possibly be met until disabled children, too, are able to obtain an education. Education’s Missing Millions (PDF format, 1.2 Mb)
analyzes education sector plans that the FTI has endorsed in 28 countries to examine how well they include children with disabilities.
Some efforts have taken place to include disabled children in education in some of these countries. However, Education’s Missing Millions (PDF format, 1.2 Mb) still identifies many gaps that must be addressed. For example, many countries do not even have data on how many of their children have disabilities. Also, few countries have explored how they can use funding mechanisms or incentives to support the inclusion of children with disabilities. And countries often do not work as closely as they could with parents, communities, or non-government organizations (NGOs).
Education’s Missing Millions (PDF format, 1.2 Mb) calls upon FTI partners to actively target children with disabilities to ensure that they, too, can obtain a free, good-quality education. The report makes a series of recommendations for pragmatic ways in which country governments and donors can promote dialogue about policies and practices within the FTI Partnership; act as a “champion” for inclusion; and close gaps in data, policy, capacity, and financing that would otherwise exclude disabled children.
Both grassroots advocates and policy makers may be interested in the 8th chapter, on local community and NGO initiatives. This chapter presents examples of projects that helped promote the inclusion of a wider number of disabled children in the classroom and their communities.
You can download the full report, Education’s Missing Millions, in PDF format (1.2 Mb) at:
People interested in education for children with disabilities in general may also be interested in reading about a report on the human rights approach to Education For All (EFA). Or you might be interested in joining a network on inclusive education in Eastern Africa; this is an email discussion group that allows you to exchange ideas and information with other people via email.
We Can Do found Education’s Missing Millions (PDF format, 1.2 Mb) by browsing the <a href=”http://www.AskSource.infoAskSource.info database on disability, health, and development.
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