Almost 60 million children around the world don’t attend school. It is thought that one third of these – 19 million – has a disability. The barriers to education for children living in lower- and middle-income countries are stacked high, from the cost of travel and a lack of teachers, limited facilities and resources, to conflict, a reliance on child labour and prejudice towards women and girls. The COVID-19 pandemic has compounded this further, with children across the globe losing more than a third of their school days during the pandemic.
Children with disabilities are left behind further still. With a lack of suitable transport to school, inaccessible school buildings, gaps in inclusive teaching methods and resources, and discrimination from both their teachers and peers, far too often these children have no choice but to leave school before even completing their primary education. Having to leave school in primary education mean that these children are more at risk of becoming trapped in a cycle of poverty and dependence. It is a cycle that must be broken, and piece by piece some progress is starting to happen in this area.
Inclusive education is the theme of a thematic workshop taking place (on Thursday 20th January 2022 from 15.00-16.30 CET), ahead of the Global Disability Summit on 16-17th February 2022. Hosted by the Global Campaign for Education, the International Disability Alliance (IDA), World Bank Group, Leonard Cheshire, and World Vision, among others, the workshop is an opportunity to discuss the crucial importance of including children with disabilities in education. The workshop will discuss lessons learned, best practices going forward and how to unite and progress with inclusive education.
No child should be denied the right to an education. Now is the time to commit to change and make education more inclusive of people with disabilities. Commitments made at the upcoming Global Disability Summit have the potential to make a very real and long-lasting impact on the lives of some of the world’s most marginalised children; quite simply, without greater investment and focus on education, the aim of leaving no one behind will not be achieved.
Use our #CommitToChange social media toolkit to raise awareness of the upcoming Global Disability Summit 2022 (GDS22) and confirm your support for inclusive education and disability rights.