The Disabilities Education Act clearly states that children with disabilities have the right to a free and appropriate education, meaning it should be of no cost to the family and that educational services must be individually designed to meet each child’s unique needs. Yet, children with disabilities are still being excluded from education sector plans and even having access to a proper education.
According to the World Health Organization’s most recent world report on disability, approximately one billion people in the world are living with a disability, with at least 1 in 10 being children. People with disabilities have generally poorer health, lower education achievements, fewer economic opportunities and higher rates of poverty than people without disabilities. This is due to the lack of services which they are supposed to be accessible to, which humanitarians, job markets and the educational system constantly overlook. However, by starting with children and their education, these numbers can be reduced significantly and accessibility in every area can be achieved.
The Global Partnership of Education (GPE) has found that education is the most effective way to break the cycle of the lack of accessibility to people with disabilities. Thus, their vision is to ensure inclusive and equitable education and to learning opportunities for all, including children with disabilities.
Their first goal is to ensure that by 2020 they will have improved and more equitable student learning outcomes through quality teaching and learning. Their second goal is to see increased equity, gender equality and inclusion for all in a full cycle of quality education, targeting the poorest and most marginalized, including by gender, disability, ethnicity and conflict or fragility. GPE’s last goal is to have effective and efficient education systems delivering equitable, quality educational services for all.
Their objectives include strengthening education sector planning and policy implementation by improving education sector plans, developing strategies on teaching and learning for marginalized groups and efficiency, and providing funding for the implementation of these sector plans focused on improved equity, efficiency and learning.
GPE already provides developing country partners such as Zanzibar, Eritrea, and Cambodia, with funding and guidance to close the gap between access, participation and learning for marginalized groups, including children with disabilities, with these objectives. By completing these objectives for 2020 on a global scale, they will have ensured that children with disabilities all around the world are included in having a strong education, as well as ensuring their futures for employment opportunities, health, and socioeconomic standing.
To learn more about GPE’s vision, click here.
Photo Credit: GlobalPartnership for Education