This blog was previously published on Education Out Loud's website.
Around 15% of the world’s population is living with a disability. When it comes to education, children with disabilities are especially disadvantaged. They are both less likely to attend school and at greater risk of dropping out.
Despite more global attention towards the rights of children to access quality education, children with disabilities are often left behind by global efforts to improve education opportunities.
The National Education Coalitions in Togo, Lesotho, and Vietnam, supported by Education Out Loud, are employing interesting approaches in their work to ensure the rights of children with disabilities to access quality education.
“When it comes to children with disabilities, we are still at the point of ensuring access to education while for other groups it is now about the quality of education – not merely access,” says Nkhasi Sefuthi, Executive Director of Lesotho National Federation of Organizations of the Disabled (LNFOD), a member of the National Education Coalition in Lesotho.
Making children with disabilities visible
“Children living with disabilities are often invisible from data and statistics of ministries in charge of education and training. This, and their exclusion from social life, makes them highly vulnerable. Raising awareness among parents about the rights of children with disabilities to access education and employment is key in addressing these issues. But it is equally important to raise awareness of the need for public authorities to reflect on the inclusive education dimension in their budgets, education projects, and planning,” says Marcel Toï, National Coordinator of CNT/EPT, the National Education Coalition in Togo.