Making the grade? A review of donor commitment and action on inclusive education for disabled children

This paper reviews the commitments and practices of key EFA Fast Track Initiative (FTI) donors in relation to early childhood and primary education for disabled children between 2005 and 2008/9. It outlines an analysis of key documentation, informal semi-structured interviews and ad hoc correspondence with representatives of donor agencies. The review highlights that, while a number of FTI donor partners are beginning to pay greater attention to the inclusion of disabled children in education through their international development cooperation and policy commitments, this has not been accompanied by sustained and systematic action. Weak political will and continued marginalisation of the issue of education for disabled children from the mainstream EFA agenda threatens to impede current efforts towards ‘education for all’. Global efforts to ensure all children complete a full cycle of primary education by 2015 will fail if bilateral and multilateral donor support for education does not prioritise the inclusion of disabled children.

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