Millions of children with disabilities are missing out on school. This new report from the Global Campaign for Education (GCE) UK investigates what the UK is doing to help. It reviews how the UK Department for International Development (DFID) has to date addressed the educational needs of children with disabilities. It was launched on 26 June 2014 in Brussels at The Global Partnership for Education (GPE) Replenishment Conference. The conference aimsed to secure commitments from donors to support efforts to ensure a quality education for all in developing countries.
The report reveals a major gap between DFID’s policy and practice, with weak implementation, as a result of a lack of resources and capacity. As the 2015 deadline for achieving the Millennium Development Goal 2 (universal primary education) and the Education for All goals fast approaches, there are still 57 million primary aged children out of school. In most low and middle-income countries, children with disabilities are more likely to be out of school than any other group of children. It is estimated that at least one third of children out of school have a disability. That is, at least 19 million children with a disability who currently do not go to school.
The report highlights that there is an urgent need for a significant increase in policy attention and resources to address the major structural and social barriers that children with disabilities currently face in accessing education. The following key recommendations are made:
- Embed and prioritise disability into DFID’s education strategy and policies
- DFID should be a global champion for children with disabilities
- Embed and prioritise disability into DFID’s education progress and funding
- Strengthen DFID’s research and evaluation gathering capacity on education for children with disabilities.