GPE Disability and Inclusive Education A Stocktake of Education Sector Plans and GPE Funded Grants.pdf


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Working Paper



February 2018

Summary of Findings
Commitment to international frameworks

Thirty-eight GPE developing country partners in this study have signed and ratified the Convention
on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), while four of the 38 have signed but have not yet
ratified it. Thirteen countries did not sign the CRPD but became members of the Convention by
accession.
National rights and policy framework for children with disabilities

All countries in this study but three, i.e., 48 countries either state or guarantee within their constitutions the right to primary education for all children, including those with disabilities. Thirty-three
developing country partners (DCPs) have a national disability law or policy. Some of these are broad,
while others articulate the right of children with disabilities to access education based on equal participation and nondiscrimination. Nine DCPs in this study have an inclusive education (IE) policy specifically addressing the education of children with disabilities. Three countries have an established
policy on inclusive education, and an additional six countries have drafted one.
Disability data

Countries in this study identify the need for robust, reliable data regarding the education of children with disabilities, as a high priority. Twenty-nine countries include an estimated percentage or
number of children with disabilities enrolled at any level in the school system, 22 countries report
primary school enrollment data, while 13 countries report special school enrollment data. Data on
children with disabilities are reported by 29 out of the 51 countries. Roughly one-quarter or 12 countries have data disaggregated by disability domain (such as mobility, cognition, sight, hearing, and
communication). Data are cited from a range of sources, spread over many years.
Key barriers to education for children with disabilities

The lack of robust data on disability is most commonly cited as a key barrier, with 15 developing
country partners identifying the lack of good, reliable data on children with disabilities as the greatest barrier to providing access to a quality education. The second-most cited barrier to the education
of children with disabilities identified in the education sector plans (ESPs) is a widely held negative
attitude toward people with disabilities, and discriminatory attitudes toward children with disabilities. Lack of infrastructure, learning material, and strategies on inclusive education, as well as the
lack of financial resources, the lack of inter-ministerial coordination and economic barriers are also
cited as barriers to education by countries. Within sector plans, the social, economic, geographical,
and other determinants of exclusion are rarely explored, and the quality of the analysis can be patchy.
Approaches to educating children with disabilities

Forty-one countries in this study are implementing a segregated or special education approach for
children with disabilities, and are investing in developing specialized facilities to address student
needs. Seventeen countries are planning to adopt both special education and integration, sometimes
referred to as a twin-track approach, mainstreaming disability in education as well as investing in
actions and services to specifically address the needs of children with disabilities.

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