DISABILITY: Education's Missing Millions

[24 September 2007] - It has been estimated that one third of the 77 million children still out of school are disabled children and that fewer than 10 per cent of disabled children in Africa attend school (UNESCO, 2006).

Globally, ensuring the inclusion of disabled children is critical to achieving the goal of universal primary completion (UPC) by 2015.

Moreover, access to quality basic education is a fundamental human right, as reflected in a number of international conventions and commitments, including the 2006 UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which reiterates the right of disabled people to inclusive education, and which will play a key role in the implementation of this right once it has entered into force.

This research report focuses on how the Education for All Fast Track Initiative (FTI) Partnership is tackling the challenges of disability and inclusion in education. Its purpose is to:

• assess the disability responsiveness of FTI processes and education sector plans thus far;
• formulate recommendations to strengthen current processes, tools and partnership mechanisms; and
• identify new opportunities through which the FTI can better address the issue of disability and education.

The study comprises:

• a review of the FTI endorsement guidelines and processes with reference to disability and inclusion, including donor assessments of plans;
• analysis of the 28 country education sector plans endorsed by the FTI between 2002 and 2006;
• two detailed country case studies; and
• a review of policy and practice in other selected countries, some of which are now preparing for FTI endorsement.

The study also looks at the extent to which the FTI Education Program Development Fund (EPDF) has focused on disability and inclusion and at donor perspectives and harmonisation in relation to disability and inclusion.

The report concludes that taking together both FTI endorsement processes and funding support, and country plans and donor assessments, the FTI Partnership could be considered as not yet being responsive enough to disability.

Current developments in policies and strategies on disability and inclusion cannot be attributed to its influence. However, the Partnership has the capacity to catalyse increasing concern with the inclusion of disabled children into effective policies, planning, implementation and monitoring at country level. The Partnership could also facilitate information and practice exchange and help to fill knowledge gaps.

It could also advance global commitment to inclusive policies and provision as a priority issue in relation to achieving universal primary completion (UPC) and to secure agreement on the policy expectations, most effective strategies and support and advocacy mechanisms which will make inclusion more of a reality.

Further information


Owner: H. Binespdf: http://www.crin.org/docs/Educationsmissing.pdf



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