26 million disabled children denied an education

By staff writers
October 25, 2007
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click hereDisabled children make up a third of the 77 million children worldwide who are excluded from education - equivalent to twice the number of children living in the UK.

This is the conclusion of a new report published by Christian development agency World Vision.

The report, entitled ‘Education’s Missing Millions…’, launched at the World Bank’s Civil Society Policy forum in Washington, warns the international community is failing to ensure disabled children are included in efforts to provide universal primary education to all children by 2015.

World Vision and the Global Partnership for Disability and Development are urging governments to ensure quality education is accessible to the 26 million primary school aged disabled children currently out of school in developing countries and to commit to changes to the Education for All Fast Track Initiative (FTI) in order to achieve this.

World Vision UK Senior Child Rights Policy Adviser and report editor Philippa Lei will present her findings at a civil society seminar hosted by World Vision International as part of the World Bank/IMF annual meetings.

She said: “Disabled children are becoming the key excluded group. In Africa, fewer than 10% of disabled children receive an education, and global estimates suggest that only 2% are in school. If we are to make any significant progress towards meeting Millennium Development Goal two then concerted efforts must be made to ensure this group of children has access to a quality, inclusive and effective education.”

The seminar, which included a panel of leading disability and development experts including World Bank Vice President Joy Phumaphi examined the issues facing disabled children in developing countries with regard to education and provided recommendations and examples of how the Education For All Fast Track Initiative and its national government and donor partners, including the World Bank, can better address these.

“It is critical that inclusive education rather than segregated education is understood as the best solution for disabled children and key to achieving universal primary education. Governments should seek to develop one single education system that can respond to the needs of all children – not just an add on,” she concluded.

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Click here to support disabled children with World Vision Alternative Gifts

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